[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1993, Book I)] [February 8, 1993] [Pages 62-63] [From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]
Remarks Announcing the Creation of the White House Office on Environmental Policy February 8, 1993 Good morning. I want to make a statement this morning and then turn the microphone over to the Vice President to discuss the environmental issues. And then he will take questions on the matter. Today I am announcing the creation of a White House Office on Environmental Policy, keeping a commitment that both the Vice President and I made to the American people to bring new leadership and new energy to these issues. And I am today reinforcing my intention to work with the Congress for legislation that will make the Environmental Protection Agency a part of my Cabinet. We face urgent environmental and economic challenges that demand a new way of thinking and a new way of organizing our efforts here in the White House and in the National Government. This Office represents in action our commitment to confront these challenges in a new, more effective way, recognizing the connection between environmental protection and economic growth and our responsibility to provide real leadership on global environmental issues. We must move in a new direction to recognize that protecting the environment means strengthening the economy and creating new jobs for Americans. And we must be ready to take advantage of the absolutely enormous business opportunities that exist both here and around the world for new environmental technologies that protect the environment and increase business profits and jobs. The days of photo-op environmentalism are over. The Competitiveness Council is closed and so is the back door the polluters used to be able to use to get out from under our laws. This Office represents our commitment to the environment and to a new, more efficient and effective way to craft policies that work, policies that recognize that protecting the environment, strengthening the economy, promoting the global environment, and dealing with global environmental problems have all too often been relegated to the bottom of the agenda. These are policies that will renew for the American people a genuine commitment to their health, their safety, and their jobs. This Office will be responsible for coordinating environmental policy. The Director of the Office will participate in the National Security Council, the National Economic Council, and [[Page 63]] the Domestic Policy Council and will work with all the relevant agencies. I am pleased to announce today that Kathleen McGinty will lead this Office and its efforts. We are today changing the way Government works, replacing the Council on Environmental Quality with a new office that will have broader influence and a more effective and focused mandate to coordinate environmental policy. The American people look to us to make Government work better and more efficiently and more effectively for them. We are taking an important step in that direction today. The American people, our economy, and our environment will benefit as a result of this. And I'd like to say a special word of thanks to Vice President Gore for the work that he has done on this since the election. We have been working hard now for more than 2 months to determine exactly how we ought to reorganize our environmental efforts and how we could integrate the environment, for the first time really, into national security policy, national economic policy, and other domestic policies. I think we've taken a long step in that direction. I thank the Vice President for his leadership, and I turn the microphone over to him. Note: The President spoke at 11 a.m. in the Roosevelt Room at the White House.