“President George Herbert Walker Bush will be remembered for a great many proud achievements and outstanding qualities. He knew that our country matters far more than political party or personal ambition, and that the national interest demands that we protect America’s precious natural heritage. And he knew that there is no inherent conflict between environmental progress and economic progress, because the well-being of the nation requires both.
“These insights led his administration to work closely with Environmental Defense Fund and lawmakers from both parties to secure passage of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, which helped turn back the acid rain pollution that was devastating the lakes and forests of the northeastern United States.
“Thanks to President Bush, we don’t hear much about acid rain these days. That is because the cap-and-trade system he championed has been phenomenally effective in cutting the sulfur dioxide pollution that causes acid rain, reducing national average levels of that pollution by 88 percent since 1990.
“It was my privilege to work with President Bush and his team on that landmark bipartisan legislation as well as the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which his administration was essential in negotiating. As he said, ‘We know that the future of the earth must not be compromised. We bear a sacred trust in our tenancy here.’ President Bush’s legacy is enormous, and we have much to learn from it today.”
- Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund
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Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), a leading international nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. Connect with us on EDF Voices, Twitter and Facebook.