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National Low-Emission Vehicle Program Announcement Washington D.C.

Carol M. Browner, Administrator
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Remarks Prepared for Delivery
National Low-Emission Vehicle Program Announcement
Washington DC
                       February 12, 1998

     It is my pleasure to welcome you to the White House today. I am delighted to be here with the Vice President and representatives of the automakers, the states, public health and environmental organizations, and others who believe that a healthy environment and a thriving economy go hand in hand. This is a truly historic occasion -- an unprecedented public-private partnership to continue our progress in cleaning up the nation's air. Today a cleaner car becomes a reality for the nation.

     The Vice President's announcement is good news -- good news for all of us here, but most of all good news for the American people. Cleaner cars mean cleaner air -- and that means cleaner, healthier, safer communities throughout our nation.  Over the past 25 years, we have made great strides in cleaning up our country's air, but we have more work to do and today's announcement is proof that we are doing everything we can to get the job done.

     Today's announcement is also proof that working together we can meet the challenge of solving the nation's most significant pollution problems. I commend the automakers and the states for their commitment, perseverance, and hard work in reaching an agreement to clean up the air and protect the American people. Through partnership, through innovation, through cost-effective technology, we can grow the economy and protect the environment at the same time. The two, in fact, are inextricably linked.

     This is our guiding philosophy. And the President and Vice President are showing that it works. Our environmental and public health protections are as strong as they've ever been, and so is our economy.  We are, indeed, building a sound, sturdy bridge to the 21st century -- and in the coming months we'll be driving over it in cleaner cars.

And now I have the pleasure of introducing Mr. Andrew Card, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Automobile Manufacturers Association. The Double A-M-A represents the Big Three automakers -- GM, Chrysler and Ford -- and without its considerable commitment of time and effort we would not be able to give the country clean cars today. We applaud the domestic automakers for their know-how, leadership, and their commitment to cleaner air.  And we thank Double A-M-A's support and partnership, and we look forward to working with the association in the future. Mr. Card...

     Thank you.   And now I would like to introduce to you Yale Gieszl, the Executive Vice President of Toyota Motor Sales. Toyota was the first company to opt into the agreement and offer full support to cleaner cars and cleaner air. We applaud Toyota's vision and leadership and are pleased to have a representative here with us today. Mr. Gieszl...

     Thank you.     And now I would like to introduce someone who has been the driving force behind every action this administration has taken to protect the environment and public health. It is his deeply-held philosophy that we can grow the economy and protect public health at the same time, that one does not have to come at the cost of the other. Again and again he has proven this to be true. Under his leadership, and the President's, our rivers and lakes and air and land are cleaner than ever, and our economy is booming. And today, we have his leadership, far-thinking vision, and unwavering commitment to new technologies to thank for bringing about this agreement we are announcing. I have the great pleasure of introducing to you the Vice President of the United States, Al Gore.