Office of the Press Secretary
RADIO ADDRESS OF THE PRESIDENT
Today I'm announcing two federal initiatives that point the way to a cleaner environment and a stronger economy. First, I'm issuing an executive order requiring that federal agencies reduce the amount of petroleum their vehicle fleets use by 20 percent in five years. We can do this with technology we already have. For example, the postal service has purchased 500 electric trucks and may purchase more than 5,000. Here in Washington, D.C., 2,600 federal and local government vehicles are running on clean natural gas or ethanol. Next month, we'll open the first of seven gas stations offering those fuels here, and I'll order every White House vehicle that can use these fuels to make the switch. This executive order will cut oil consumption by 45 million gallons a year, help stop global warming and ease pressure on gas prices.
Second, I'm also announcing new incentives to cut pollution and greenhouse gases while we help federal workers across the country reduce the growing hassle of commuting. All federal workers now will be able to set aside up to $65 tax-free every month to pay for public transportation. And in the Washington area, every federal agency will actually some or all of its employees' public transportation costs.
It is clear, citizens and businesses across America are building support for a strong response to global warming. But one voice is still missing -- the United States Congress. While the science on climate change has grown stronger, and the need for American leadership has grown greater, some in Congress have buried their heads even deeper in the sand. I urge them to recognize that reversing global warming will strengthen our economy, while safeguarding our future.
In the next 20 years, the international energy market will reach $5 trillion, and consumers everywhere increasingly will demand clean energy. We're the world leader in those technologies. We should be promoting them, not denying their need. Instead, for the past seven years, Congress has blocked our initiatives to fight climate change and cut America's fuel bills.
I'm deeply disappointed the Republican budget resolution just adopted fails again to support America's environmental priorities. And again I call on Congress to reverse its opposition and work with us to pass my $4-billion package of tax credits for energy-efficient homes, cars and appliances; to invest in clean energy research; and to help us promote clean technology in developing countries. Congress should also end its opposition and help us improve the fuel economy of all our cars and trucks, so Americans can have the vehicles they want with the efficiency they deserve.
More than a hundred years ago, the great American poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, reminded us that "nature is a revelation of God." This Earth Day, let us remember that we are only stewards in our time of the Earth God gave us for all time. And let us strengthen our resolve to preserve the beauty and the natural bounty that sustains us, and must sustain generations yet to come.
Happy holidays, and thanks for listening.
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