THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
White House Outlines National Campaign To Protect Environment, Create Jobs
Vice President Al Gore today outlined a national campaign to provide better health, safety and environmental protection for all Americans at lower cost to taxpayers, businesses and consumers.
Speaking from a hazardous-waste recycling plant in Fall River, Mass., the Vice President will formally unveil a National Environmental Technology Strategy with three major goals: create high-wage jobs and exports and stimulate overall economic growth; reduce the cost of cleaning up past pollution; and help prevent future damage to the environment.
"We are committed to promoting a new generation of innovative environmental technologies that will give us a healthier environment, a greater market share for U.S. companies, and more jobs for American workers," the Vice President explained.
The administration's plan is a blueprint working with industry, states, communities and workers to help drive U.S. economic growth while solving environmental problems. Environmental businesses are a key growth sector for the U.S. economy, providing jobs at twice the rate of the economy as a whole. Global markets for environmental goods and services are calculated at $300 billion currently and are expected to grow as much as $500 billion or more by the end of the decade.
The United States currently is the world leader in environmental technologies but is facing strong and growing competition from Japan, Germany and other countries. Europe already leads the U.S. in nuclear waste storage and disposal, and Europe and Japan are both at parity with the United States in pollution control and remediation and restoration technologies. The slight U.S. lead also is slipping in environmental monitoring and assessment, according to the 1995 Critical Technologies Report recently released by the President.
"If our environmental technology industry is to remain competitive in the global marketplace, we must implement actions today that will be responsive to tomorrow's problems and needs. Meeting future challenges will require our regulatory system to adapt to a changing world by promoting the innovation that will ensure protection of our environment in a cost-effective manner," President Clinton writes in a preface to the strategy document.
Environmental technologies offer the potential to help solve the nation's environmental problems at lower cost to taxpayers, industry and consumers, the strategy document says. The plan proposes a national goal of generating 40 to 50 percent less waste and using 20 to 25 percent less materials per unit of gross domestic product by Earth Day 2020. Another goal of the strategy is for the United States to produce sufficient energy to support an additional 30 to 40 million people with fewer toxic air emmissions than in 1995.
To carry out this ambitious national strategy, the Federal government is implementing plans to:
The strategy represents the work of President Clinton's National Science and Technology Council and key federal agencies over the past two years in bringing together thousands of policy makers and stakeholders from across the country. The report that lays out the strategy, "Bridge to a Sustainable Future," is available to reporters only from the communications office of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, 202-456-6018. The public may obtain the report through the Interagency Environment Technologies Office, 955 L'Enfant Plaza, S.W., Suite 5322, Washington, D.C. The document may be requested by telephone, 1-800-ENV-6676, or via internet: <firstname.lastname@example.org>.