President George W. Bush on Energy and Environment

President George W. Bush understood that one of the biggest issues facing energy firms is regulatory risk, particularly uncertainty around market design issues and environmental regulations. Three energy bills were passed into law during his two terms and he proposed a clean air initiative that failed to pass. He can be credited with knowing the Kyoto Protocol would not work and his Asia-Pacific Partnership could serve as one additional model for going forward in mitigating climate change.We are deeply concerned that, while responsible ecology groups provide valuable information to the public, some environmental extremists are abusing the public with unnecessary scare tactics in the ongoing environmental and energy public policy debates. These tactics are hurting the environment and the economy.We have important clean air, energy, water and other environmental issues that must be balanced with America’s mighty economic engine: housing starts, car sales, retail sales, DOW industrial average, employment, national security and more.National Monument – – Marine ConservationPresident Bush signed a proclamation on June 15, 2006 to designate waters in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands a national monument. The Northwestern Islands Marine National Monument [also called the Papahanaumokuakea National Marine Monument] is now the largest single conservation area in the history of our country, the largest protected marine area in the world and will receive America’s highest form of marine environmental protection. The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands are 10 beautiful islands and atolls that stretch over 1,400 miles – – the distance from Chicago to Miami.In January 2009, President Bush created three new marine national monuments in the Central Pacific Ocean. The area includes nine tropical coral islands and their surrounding waters. The three new protected areas will be called Marianas Marine National Monument, Pacific Remote Island National Monument, and Roe Atoll National Monument. Approximately 195,000 sqaure miles will be protected.Clean Air Diesel RuleThe Bush administration finalized new rules to prevent harmful emissions from off-road diesel powered vehicles, such as bulldozers, tractors and irrigation equipment. The vehicles are among the largest sources of pollutants that are linked to premature deaths, lung cancer, asthma and other serious respiratory illnesses. The regulations should reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide and other pollutants from diesel engines by more than 90 percent in the next eight years. EPA believes the new regulations will prevent approximately 12,000 premature deaths and will save billions of dollars in hospital and medical costs.Clean Air Interstate RuleThe Clean Air Interstate rule permanently caps emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the Eastern United States. When fully implemented, CAIR will reduce SO2 emissions in 28 Eastern states and the District of Columbia by over 70 percent and NOx emissions by over 60 percent from 2003 levels. CAIR will mandate the largest reduction in air pollution since the reductions set by the Acid Rain Program under the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.Clear SkiesPresident Bush’s Clear Skies Initiative (CSI) will lead to significant (70%) emission reductions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and mercury: three air pollutants (3P).Global Climate ChangeThe Bush Administration initiated the Asia-Pacific Partnership for Clean Development and Climate, which aims to use the latest technologies to limit emissions and to make sure the technologies are available in the areas and industries that need them most. The pact includes India, China, Australia and South Korea, which account for approximately 40 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.The U.S. is a Party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which has the ultimate goal of stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that prevents dangerous human interference with the climate system. This can be accomplished in one of two ways – through short-term excessive regulations like those that would be required for U.S. compliance with the Kyoto Protocol, or through the development of new low- or zero-emissions energy technologies that will allow us to make larger long-term reductions in emissions while maintaining economic growth. The Bush Administration has chosen the latter approach: the Bush Administration will spend billions of dollars on climate change science and technology R&D and has requested increases in key investments in FY 2005. President Bush also supports billions in tax incentives to spur the use of clean, renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies. The Center supports nuclear power as a zero-emission energy technology. Reprocessed spent fuel and mixed oxide from nuclear warheads should be included as renewable energy resources.Methane to Markets PartnershipMTMP is an initiative designed to reduce global methane emissions, to enhance economic growth, promote energy security, improve the environment, and reduce greenhouse gases. Through multilateral cooperation, the initiative promotes cost-effective, near-term methane recovery and use as a clean energy source. The Methane to Markets Partnership includes countries with large sources of methane and/or special expertise and interest in developing methane projects. Founding partner countries account for approximately 60 percent of global methane emissions from the targeted sources. Countries that have joined the Partnership to date include: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Republic of Korea, Russia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States.Clean Air Mercury RuleMercury emissions from power plants are not currently regulated. For the first time ever, the Bush Administration will impose a mandatory 70 percent cut in mercury emissions from those sources by 2018. The EPA Clean Air Mercury proposal cuts will be achieved by using either a proven market-based, cap-and-trade approach that will better assure compliance and enforceability, or a more traditional command-and-control approach utilizing Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT), which would reduce nationwide emissions of mercury by 14 tons (29 percent) by the end of 2007. Both proposals are currently receiving public comment.Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site: GeorgiaPresident Bush’s FY 2005 proposed budget request includes $1,000,000 to provide support to the Martin Luther King, Jr., Center in Atlanta, Georgia. The King Center is comprised of Dr. King’s Crypt, a reflecting pool, Chapel of All Faiths, Freedom Hall, where artifacts of Dr. and Mrs. King are displayed, and an administrative building that houses staff and archives. Funding is used to operate and maintain the facility, as well as provide interpretive and educational services. Maintenance projects underway since FY 2002: $ 2.8 million and 5 projectsMartin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site includes a number of facilities that are operated in partnership with the National Park Service, Ebenezer Baptist Church and The King Center. Within these facilities the visitor can learn about Dr. King’s life and his influence on the civil rights movement in AmericaFY 2005 EPA Budget Empowers Agency to Accelerate Environmental ProtectionPresident Bush’s 2005 budget provides $7.76 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency, a $133 million increase over the 2004 budget request. National Energy PolicyCenter President Norris McDonald was invited by the White House to attend the August 8, 2005 signing of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The signing ceremony was held in the Steve Schiff Auditorium in the Technology Transfer Center at Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, New Mexico. White House guests were picked up by buses at Kirtland Air Force Base and taken to the historic event at Sandia.President George W. Bush holds the box (above) containing the energy bill after signing H.R. 6, The Energy Policy Act of 2005. Also on stage from left are Congressman Ralph Hall (R, TX), Congressman Jo e Barton (R, TX), Senator Pete Domenici (R, NM) and Senator Jeff Bingaman (D, NM).White House Photo by Eric DraperEnergy Policy Act of 2005 Conference ReportHouse Conference Report Vote Senate Conference Report VoteEnergy Policy Act of 2005 – SummaryAbove: Norris McDonald and Senator Pete Domenici at the ceremonyon the Energy Policy Act of 2005 with Norris McDonald in foreground at Sandia National Labaroties.President Bush Signs the Energy Policy Act of 2005 President Bush Signs ‘First Civil Rights Law of the 21st Century’: No Fear Act of 2002Discrimination judgements against agencies now come out of the offending agencies budget instead of the general treasury. The No Fear Act orginated with a discrimination lawsuit won ($600,000 judgement) by Marsha Coleman-Adebayo at EPA during the Clinton administration. She lobbied Congress for relief, which led to the No Fear Act. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo is currently working with famed actor Danny Glover to develop a movie based on her experiences. Wildfire Prevention & Recovery EffortsThe Healthy Forest Restoration Act of 2003 (H.R. 1904), patterned after President Bush’s Healthy Forest Initiative, expedites procedures for tree thinning on 20 million acres of federal forest threatened by fire.The Bush Administration is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to provide help for wildfire recovery efforts and to address the tree mortality emergencies in the West. This includes funding for emergency environmental restoration work in southern California. These funds will provide technical and financial assistance to local project sponsors to help heal the watershed and prevent further damage following wildfires.Over 1,000 to be Trained for Environmental Jobs in Brownfields Communities NationwideA new round of Brownfields Job Training Grants will teach environmental-cleanup job skills to 1,080 individuals living in low-income areas near Brownfields sites in 16 communities. To date, more than 60 percent of people completing Brownfields training programs have obtained employment in the environmental field with an average hourly wage of $12.84.A total of $2.4 million will be awarded to 16 communities in 13 states (Wisconsin, Washington, Illinois, Alabama, Ohio, Alaska, Hawaii, Rhode Island, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Missouri), to provide environmental job training at Brownfields sites.Brownfields LawThe Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act of 2001 encourages development of polluted lands, contains increased funding and flexibility to state and local governments for cleanup of brownfields. It also gives prospective redevelopers assurances that the federal government will not come after them for past pollution at the redevelopment site, and has small business liability reform. Bush National Water Quality Trading Policy ProposalThe Bush administration’s proposed National Water Quality Trading Policy would allow water polluters to purchase “credits” from lesser polluters to bring them into compliance with the Clean Water Act. The proposal is similar to a sulfur dioxide market-based trading system that has operated successfully under the Clean Air Act to limit the threat of acid rain. The administration believes it is a cost-effective alternative to traditional regulations that require industry to install expensive anti-pollution equipment.The new policy uses economic incentives to enforce water quality regulations. It would allow industrial, agricultural and wastewater treatment plants to meet their regulatory obligations by purchasing offsetting credits from facilities in the same watershed that have exceeded their mandated water quality standards or from non-regulated farms that have helped clean up water.National Standards For Cooling Water Intake Structures at Large Existing Power PlantsEPA finalized a rule to protect more than 200 million pounds of fish, shellfish, fish larvae, eggs and other aquatic organisms annually from impingement mortality (when fish are trapped on intake screens) and entrainment (when they are drawn through the cooling system). They are being killed inadvertently by cooling water intake structures at about 550 large power plants that use about 220 billion gallons of water each day. The retrofits, operations and maintainance will cost approximately $400 million annually. The environmental benefits of this rule include improvements to recreational and commercial fishing and are valued at about $80 million annually. This is the first time in the 32-year history of the Clean Water Act that EPA has established a systematic way to comprehensively address the environmental consequences of power plants that withdraw more than 50 million gallons of water per day. The new rule will require all large existing power plants to meet performance standards to reduce the number of organisms pinned against parts of the cooling water intake structure by 80 to 95 percent.Hydrogen Education EffortPresident Bush has called on the Department of Energy (DOE) to pursue the promise of hydrogen. Over the next five years DOE will invest $1.7 billion in research and development of advanced hybrid vehicle components, fuel cells, and hydrogen infrastructure technologies, as part of the FreedomCAR and Hydrogen Fuel Initiative.CoalPresident Bush has proposed a $2 billion, 10-year Coal Research Initiative and coal R&D budget requests under President Bush’s leadership are more than double past requests.Coal has been fundamental to America’s energy security throughout our history. The challenge now is to make clean coal a vital contributor to achieving President Bush’s environmental goals under his Clear Skies and Climate Change initiatives.Four New Rules Will Reduce Hazardous Air EmissionsRules requiring four industries to upgrade their facilities by installation of Maximum Achievable Control Technologies (MACTs) were announced last Thursday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The new MACT standards will protect Americans from eye, lung, and skin irritation, liver and kidney damage, cancer, central nervous system dysfunction and other health problems by reducing national emissions of toxic air pollutants by some 88,000 tons per year within five years.The four rules issued February 26, 2004 complete the application of technology based national emissions standards called for under the 1990 Clean Air Act. With today’s rules, EPA has issued 96 MACT standards to reduce toxic emissions from over 160 categories of industrial sources. When fully implemented, these rules collectively will reduce 1.7 million tons per year of toxic air emissions compared to the 1990 baseline emissions.MACT rules announced today cover: Industrial, Commercial and Institutional Boilers and Process Heaters; Plywood and Composite Wood Products; Stationary Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines (RICE), and Automobile and Light Duty Trucks Manufacturing (Surface Coating).President Announces Wetlands Initiative on Earth DayPresident Bush celebrated Earth Day in Wells, Maine, where he visited with volunteers helping protect a wetland that is home to abundant wildlife and helps cleanse water reaching the Atlantic Ocean The President announced an aggressive new national goal – moving beyond a policy of “no net loss” of wetlands to have an overall increase of wetlands in America each year. The President’s goal is to create, improve, and protect at least three million wetland acres over the next five years in order to increase overall wetland acres and quality. To meet this goal, the President called on Congress to pass his FY 2005 budget request, which includes $4.4 billion for conservation programs that include funding for wetlands – an increase of $1.5 billion (53%) over FY 2001.The FY 2005 budget proposes to spend $349 million on our two key wetlands programs – the Wetlands Reserve Program and the North American Wetlands Conservation Act Grants Program — which is an increase of more than 50% over FY 2001 for those two programs.June 2006 – – On Earth Day 2004, President Bush announced a wetlands initiative that established a federal policy BEYOND “no net loss” of wetlands. The Emergency Wetlands Resources Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-645) requires the Fish & Wildlife Service to produce national wetlands status and trend reports for the Congress at ten year intervals. The current report has just been issued: Status & Trends of Wetlands in the Conterminous U.S. 1998 to 2004. The reports concludes that, “for the first time net wetlands gains, acquired through the contributions of restoration and creation activities, surpassed net wetland losses.” In additional to sustaining various flora, fauna and folk, wetlands support healthy fish populations by providing clean water, food production, spawning and nursery areas and refuge. Wetlands are “nature’s kidneys” because they filter and purify our streams, rivers and waterways. The Advanced Energy InitiativePresident Bush’s Advanced Energy Initiative (AEI) – A Comprehensive Vision For A Clean, Secure Energy Future.The President’s Advanced Energy Initiative promotes America’s four main sources of electricity: coal, nuclear, natural gas, and renewable sources.Nuclear PowerPresident Bush Is Helping Expand America’s Use Of Nuclear Power In Four Important Ways:1. The Energy Bill The President Signed In 2005 Provides Loan Incentives, Production Tax Credits, And Federal Risk Insurance For Builders Of New Nuclear Plants. Loan incentives will give investors confidence that the Federal government is committed to the construction of nuclear power plants. Production tax credits will reward investments in the latest in advanced nuclear power generation. Federal risk insurance for the first six new nuclear power plants will help protect builders of these plants against lawsuits, bureaucratic obstacles, and other delays beyond their control.2. The Bush Administration Has Launched The Nuclear Power 2010 Initiative – A $1.1 Billion Partnership Between The U.S. Government And Industry To Facilitate New Plant Orders. At this time last year, only two companies were seeking to build nuclear power plants. Now, 16 companies have expressed interest in new construction – and they are considering as many as 25 new plants. By the end of this decade, America will be able to start construction on nuclear plants again.3. President Bush Has Proposed Legislation That Will Help Complete A Nuclear Waste Repository At Yucca Mountain Yucca Mountain is critical to expanding nuclear power in the United States because it will provide a safe geologic repository to store spent fuel and nuclear waste. Yucca Mountain was selected based on sound science after many years of scientific study. Making Yucca Mountain fully operational would inspire confidence among builders and entrepreneurs that the government fully supports the expansion of nuclear power. The President urges Congress to pass this important legislation to move our efforts forward.4. Under The Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, America Will Work With Nations That Have Advanced Civilian Nuclear Energy Programs, Such As France, Japan, And Russia The President’s budget includes $250 million to launch this initiative.GNEP Will Use New Technologies That Effectively And Safely Recycle Spent Nuclear Fuel.Re-processing spent uranium fuel for use in advanced reactors will allow us to extract more energy. It also has the potential to reduce storage requirements for nuclear waste by up to 90 percent. With re-processing, Yucca Mountain could hold America’s nuclear waste through the end of the 21st century.Working With Other Nations Under The Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, America Can Provide The Cheap, Safe, And Clean Energy That Growing Economies Need, While Reducing The Risk Of Nuclear Proliferation.The U.S. will help developing countries meet their growing energy needs by providing them with small-scale reactors that will be secure and cost-effective. We will also ensure that developing nations have a reliable nuclear fuel supply. In exchange, these countries would agree to use nuclear power only for civilian purposes and forego uranium enrichment and re-processing activities that can be used to develop nuclear weapons.CoalPresident Bush Is Encouraging The Research And Development Of Clean-Coal Technologies.Coal is by far America’s most abundant and affordable energy resource. America has enough coal to last about 240 years at current rates of consumption.In 2000, President Bush Promised To Invest $2 Billion Over Ten Years To Promote Clean Coal. The Administration is several years ahead of schedule in keeping that promise. By 2012, Under The FutureGen Initiative, America Will Build The World’s First Power Plant To Run On Coal And Remove Virtually All Pollutants. Natural GasThe Energy Bill President Bush Signed In 2005 Addressed The Increasing Demand For Natural Gas. Natural gas is the most versatile fuel, but demand for it has increased, and the price has more than doubled between 2001 to 2005. The Energy Bill President Bush signed last year expands our ability to receive liquefied natural gas – a super-cooled form of natural gas that can be transported from overseas on tankers. The bill clarifies Federal authority to license new sites, reduces bureaucratic obstacles to open new terminals, and streamlines the permitting process for onshore development.Alternative And RenewablesPresident Bush’s FY2007 Budget Proposes $44 Million In Funding For Wind Energy Research.About Six Percent Of The Continental United States Has Been Identified As Highly Suitable For Construction Of Wind Turbines. This area alone has the potential to supply up to 20 percent of our Nation’s electricity. Our goal is to expand the use and lower the cost of wind turbine technology – so that our country can get more electricity from clean, renewable wind power.The President Has Proposed A New Solar America Initiative To Accelerate Research And Development In Solar Technology. Solar technology has the potential to change the way all Americans live and work. President Bush’s FY2007 budget proposes nearly $150 million in funding for government and private research into solar technology – an increase of more than 75 percent over current levels. This support can help make solar power competitive by 2015.Working To Boost Oil And Gas Supplies To Relieve High Gas PricesIn April 2006, President Bush Directed The Strategic Petroleum Reserve To Defer Filling The Reserve This Summer. In addition, he has directed EPA Administrator Steve Johnson to use all his available authority to grant waivers that would relieve the restrictions on getting fuel delivered to the pump. The President has also called on Congress to simplify the process for building new refineries and to make it easier for refiners to make modifications to increase production.President Bush Wants More Access To The Domestic Resources On The Outer Continental Shelf, While Respecting The Concerns Of Nearby States. In the long term, America must find alternatives to oil and the way we power our cars.It will take time for America to move from a hydrocarbon economy to a hydrogen economy. In the meantime, there are billions of barrels of oil and enormous amounts of natural gas off the Alaskan Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico.