We came to office committed to providing the American people with a cleaner environment, strong public health protections, and a brighter future for their families. We also set out to prove that all these things did not have to come at the expense of economic progress.
Today, as we observe the 30th anniversary of Earth Day, we can say that our effort has been a success. America is now enjoying both the longest economic expansion in history and the cleanest environment in a generation. Since we took office, the American economy has created nearly 21 million new jobs and grown at the fastest rate in more than 30 years. We now have the lowest unemployment rates in 30 years; the lowest poverty rates in 20 years; the lowest African American and Hispanic unemployment rates on record, and the first back-to-back budget surpluses in 42 years.
Meanwhile, more American families are breathing clean air and drinking clean water, American car companies are producing cleaner cars than ever, and we have preserved and restored millions of acres of precious lands across our Nation. And, time and again, we have stood firm against efforts to weaken our environmental laws.
While we have made tremendous progress, many challenges remain: We have to work to do in creating economically strong, livable communities by preserving green space, easing traffic congestion, and cleaning up toxic waste and industrial sites. We must develop and adopt cleaner, more efficient forms of energy. And we must continue our efforts for forge international coalitions to fight global warming and expand free and fair trade in ways that advance our commitment to environmental progress.
On the 30th anniversary of Earth Day, we can all look back with pride for what we have accomplished at a Nation. The American people have demonstrated that they are fully and firmly committed to environmental progress, demanding strong protections and wise gains. Moreover, we have made it clear that a healthy environment and a strong economy go hand in hand. America is indeed well prepared of the challenges that lie ahead. If we continue on our current track, we can confidently predict another 30 years of amazing progress.
|President Bill Clinton||Vice President Al Gore|
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