RESPONSIBILITY, OPPORTUNITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
To meet the conservation challenges of a new century, President Clinton is proposing a new category of dedicated, discretionary funding to protect America’s land, coastal and wildlife resources. In FY 2000, the President secured $652 million for Lands Legacy, a 42 percent increase. For FY 2001, the President is proposing another substantial increase and creation of a new budget category to preserve this higher level of funding in future years. The proposed FY 2001 funding would dramatically increase support for state, local and tribal efforts to protect farmland, forests, urban parks and other local green spaces. It also would provide significant increases for federal, state, local and tribal efforts to protect ocean and coastal resources. In addition, Lands Legacy would supported federal protection of natural and historic lands across the country, with priorities including Civil War battlefields, the Florida Everglades, the Mojave Desert, and New England forests and wildlife refuges.
Against a backdrop of growing scientific consensus that the Earth is warming and that human activity is at least partly to blame the President is proposing a series of new initiatives to address global climate change. The President’s FY 2001 budget will propose a new effort to accelerate the development and deployment of clean energy technologies in developing countries; increased funding for the research and development of bio-based technologies that use crops, trees and agricultural waste to make fuels and products; and start-up funding for a Clean Air Partnership Fund to support state and local efforts that achieve early reductions in both greenhouse gas emissions and ground-level air pollutants. Other elements of the Administration’s climate change strategy include continued increases in both investments and tax incentives to spur the development and deployment of clean energy technologies and energy-efficient cars, homes, and appliances; cutting energy use by the Federal government; working with Congress to reward companies taking early, voluntary action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; restructuring the electricity industry; and continued diplomatic efforts to fill in key details of the Kyoto Protocol and secure more meaningful participation by key developing countries in the fight against global warming.
Tax credits for energy-efficient cars, homes and appliances
Cars and light trucks (including minivans, sport utilities, and pickups) currently account for 20 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. The President’s FY 2001 budget will propose tax incentives to help curb these emissions by moving advanced technologies for electric, fuel cell, and hybrid vehicles from the laboratory to the highway. Tax credits would be offered for the purchase of qualifying hybrid vehicles from 2003 through 2006; and the current tax credit for electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles would be extended through 2006. The President also is proposing a tax credits for the purchase of energy-efficient homes; for solar energy systems; for the purchase of energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment; and for wind and biomass power.
Clean Energy for the 21st Century
Energy technology markets in developing countries are projected to total $4 trillion to $5 trillion over the next 20 years. To accelerate the development and deployment of clean energy technologies around the world, President Clinton is proposing the Clean Energy for the 21st Century: International Initiative – a multi-agency effort to encourage remove market barriers to clean energy technologies in developing and transition countries and to provide new incentives for clean energy technology innovation and export. This initiative, which builds on a set of recommendations by the President’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), will create as much as $5 billion in new export revenues for U.S. companies and up to 100,000 new U.S. jobs, and will assist developing countries in powering their economic development while fighting air pollution and climate change.
President Clinton and Vice President Gore are proposing to strengthen the Livable Communities initiative, which expands the choices available to communities to help them grow in ways that ensure a high quality of life and strong, sustainable economic growth. The Administration’s FY 2001 budget will propose record funding for public transit and other programs to ease traffic congestion while reducing air pollution; matching grants to help neighboring communities develop collaborative “smart growth” strategies; and funding to provide communities with new information tools, and improve public safety by sharing crime data. The Administration also will propose tax credits for Better America Bonds, a new financing tool generating billions in bond authority for investments by state, local and tribal governments to preserve green space, create or restore urban parks, protect water quality, and clean up brownfields (abandoned industrial sites). By delivering tools and resources to the local level, where issues of growth management are most appropriately addressed, this initiative helps empower citizens to build more "livable communities" for the 21st century.
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