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More headlines: George W. Bush on Environment

(Following are older quotations. Click here for main quotations.)


Texas has most out-of-compliance plants; but is improving

In a new tally of smog around the country, Texas had more than twice as many industrial plants violating clean air rules than any other state. EPA data showed that 93 plants in the smoggiest areas of Texas did not comply recently with regulations to control volatile organic compounds - among the main ingredients in smog. Next on the list is Illinois, with 38 plants out of compliance in areas with persistent smog.

A Bush spokesman questioned the validity of the report (An EPA official confirmed that the study had used accurate data). But the spokesman said that if the numbers were accurate, they could be read another way to show that Texas has a higher percentage of compliance than many other states simply because it has so many industrial facilities. The percentage of volatile organic compounds fell by over 43% from 1995-1997, more than twice the national average, the spoesman said, adding that a new smog proposed plan will cut pollutants by another 90 percent.

Source: Bill Lambrecht, St. Louis Post-Dispatch Oct 16, 2000

Work in partnership with states and landowners

Q: What will you do to protect the environment?

BUSH: In Texas we reduced our industrial waste by 11%. We ought to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund, with half the money going to states. We need to have clean coal technologies. There’s a national petroleum reserve right next to Prudhoe Bay [that was good to open for its] gas reserves. There are practical things we can do. But it starts with working in collaborative effort with states. People care a lot about their land.

Source: Presidential Debate at Wake Forest Oct 11, 2000

Texas record: cleaner air & water; toxic cleanup

Source: Press Release, part of “Renewing America’s Purpose” Apr 3, 2000

Pushed voluntary compliance in Texas instead of mandates

Early this summer, Bush signed a law to regulate outdated industrial plants that are among the heaviest polluters in Texas. Bush boasts that he is the first Texas governor “to ever have brought industry together and said, ‘Get into compliance.’” Although state regulators had been considering mandatory restrictions on polluters, state documents indicate that Bush thought the approach should be voluntary and essentially asked industry leaders to draft such a proposal, which they did.
Source: New York Times, p. A1 Nov 9, 1999

Houston leads US in smog, but Texas is getting cleaner

This year, Houston was expected to pass Los Angeles as the nation’s smog leader. Pollution is not new to Texas, a heavily industrial state. So most Texans do not seem to blame Bush for the air problems. “You’ve got to ask, ‘Is the air cleaner since I became governor?,’ ” Bush said in the spring. “And the answer is yes.” Compared with two decades ago, air quality has generally improved in Texas. Environmentalists, however, attribute the reductions to earlier state and federal initiatives.
Source: New York Times, p. A20 Nov 9, 1999

Supports voluntary contaminated waste cleanup.

Individuals, businesses and governments in a new voluntary program [in Texas] have helped clean up more than 200 contaminated sites during the past three years. Texas also works with bordering Mexican states to support air- and water-quality improvement projects. We encourage such voluntary, innovative approaches in Texas. I appoint qualified board members to state agencies that.develop common-sense policies based on sound science that will best protect human health and the environment.
Source: www.governor.state.tx.us/divisions/faq_index.html 12/31/98 Dec 31, 1998

Amend ESA; more flexibility; no unfunded mandates.

Source: 1998 National Political Awareness Test Jul 2, 1998

Supports electric de-reg; pollution self-audits; recycling

Source: 1998 National Political Awareness Test Jul 2, 1998

Set standards based on science; and fine violators

Q: Do you think tougher laws are needed to protect our environment? A: I think we ought to have high standards set by agencies that rely upon science, not by what may feel good or what sound good. And I think it’s important to give people time to say we’re going to conform to standards and if they don’t, I think we ought to fine them.
Source: GOP Debate in Johnston, Iowa Jan 16, 2000

Clean up urban brownfields, in US as in Texas

Bush unveiled proposals yesterday for cleaning up hundreds of abandoned industrial sites. He touted successes in his home state at cleaning up more than 450 “brownfields”-- polluted and usually abandoned industrial sites that blight cities and suburbs--while restoring $200 million to local property tax rolls. Bush prescribed flexible standards and technology as the best antidote for pollution and blight.
Source: Washington Post, p. A6 Apr 4, 2000

6-point plan for brownfield cleanup

    Governor Bush today outlined a six-point agenda to reform efforts to clean up the environment by encouraging state and local efforts to clean and redevelop abandoned industrial sites, known as brownfields.
  1. Direct the EPA to establish high standards for brownfield cleanups that will provide more flexibility than the current Superfund standards
  2. Provide protection from federal liability at brownfields cleaned up under state programs that meet high federal standards
  3. Focus on developing cleanup techniques and new cleanup technologies
  4. Reform the Brownfield Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund by cutting the red tape and block granting the funds to the states
  5. Extend permanently the Brownfield cleanup tax incentive that is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2001
  6. Direct active federal facilities to comply with the environmental protection laws and hold them accountable.
Source: Press Release, part of “Renewing America’s Purpose” Apr 3, 2000

Cooperate with industry, instead of lawsuits & regulations

Bush’s environmental record is [premised on his] relationship with industrial leaders. As an advocate of limited government, Bush said the best way to achieve clean air & water was “to work with local jurisdictions using market-based solutions and not try to sue our way or regulate our way to clean air & water.” His aides say Bush has pursued a cooperative approach that emphasizes voluntary solutions instead of government mandates, balancing the needs of industry with the need for clean air & water.
Source: New York Times, p. A1 Nov 9, 1999

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Other candidates on Environment: George W. Bush on other issues:
Former Presidents:
George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy (D,1961-1963)

Former Contenders:
V.P.Al Gore
Pat Buchanan
V.P.Dick Cheney
Sen.Bob Dole
Ralph Nader
Gov.Sarah Palin

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Page last updated: Jan 06, 2014