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pd24my04 Remarks at the Peace Officers Memorial Service...

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    Section 1. Policy. The Great Lakes are a national treasure 
constituting the largest freshwater system in the world. The United 
States and Canada have made great progress addressing past and current 
environmental impacts to the Great Lakes ecology. The Federal Government 
is committed to making progress on the many significant challenges that 
remain. Along with numerous State, tribal, and local programs, over 140 
Federal programs help fund and implement environmental restoration and 
management activities throughout the Great Lakes system. A number of 
intergovernmental bodies are providing leadership in the region to 
address environmental and resource management issues in the Great Lakes 
system. These activities would benefit substantially from more 
systematic collaboration and better integration of effort. It is the 
policy of the Federal Government to support local and regional efforts 
to address environmental challenges and to encourage local citizen and 
community stewardship. To this end, the Federal Government will partner 
with the Great Lakes States, tribal and local governments, communities, 
and other interests to establish a regional collaboration to address 
nationally significant environmental and natural resource issues 
involving the Great Lakes. It is the further policy of the Federal 
Government that its executive departments and agencies will ensure that 
their programs are

[[Page 919]]

funding effective, coordinated, and environmentally sound activities in 
the Great Lakes system.
    Sec. 2. Definitions.
    For purposes of this order:
    (a) ``Great Lakes'' means Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Huron 
(including Lake Saint Clair), Lake Michigan, and Lake Superior, and the 
connecting channels (Saint Marys River, Saint Clair River, Detroit 
River, Niagara River, and Saint Lawrence River to the Canadian Border).
    (b) ``Great Lakes system'' means all the streams, rivers, lakes, and 
other bodies of water within the drainage basin of the Great Lakes.
    Sec. 3. Great Lakes Interagency Task Force.
    (a) Task Force Purpose. To further the policy described in section 1 
of this order, there is established, within the Environmental Protection 
Agency for administrative purposes, the ``Great Lakes Interagency Task 
Force'' (Task Force) to:
(i)          Help convene and establish a process for collaboration 
            among the members of the Task Force and the members of the 
            Working Group that is established in paragraph b(ii) of this 
            section, with the Great Lakes States, local communities, 
            tribes, regional bodies, and other interests in the Great 
            Lakes region regarding policies, strategies, plans, 
            programs, projects, activities, and priorities for the Great 
            Lakes system.
(ii)         Collaborate with Canada and its provinces and with bi-
            national bodies involved in the Great Lakes region regarding 
            policies, strategies, projects, and priorities for the Great 
            Lakes system.
(iii)        Coordinate the development of consistent Federal policies, 
            strategies, projects, and priorities for addressing the 
            restoration and protection of the Great Lakes system and 
            assisting in the appropriate management of the Great Lakes 
(iv)         Develop outcome-based goals for the Great Lakes system 
            relying upon, among other things, existing data and science-
            based indicators of water quality and related environmental 
            factors. These goals shall focus on outcomes such as cleaner 
            water, sustainable fisheries, and biodiversity of the Great 
            Lakes system and ensure that Federal policies, strategies, 
            projects, and priorities support measurable results.
(v)          Exchange information regarding policies, strategies, 
            projects, and activities of the agencies represented on the 
            Task Force related to the Great Lakes system.
(vi)         Work to coordinate government action associated with the 
            Great Lakes system.
(vii)        Ensure coordinated Federal scientific and other research 
            associated with the Great Lakes system.
(viii)       Ensure coordinated government development and 
            implementation of the Great Lakes portion of the Global 
            Earth Observation System of Systems.
(ix)         Provide assistance and support to agencies represented on 
            the Task Force in their activities related to the Great 
            Lakes system.
(x)          Submit a report to the President by May 31, 2005, and 
            thereafter as appropriate, that summarizes the activities of 
            the Task Force and provides any recommendations that would, 
            in the judgment of the Task Force, advance the policy set 
            forth in section 1 of this order.
    (b) Membership and Operation.
(i)          The Task Force shall consist exclusively of the following 
            officers of the United States: the Administrator of the 
            Environmental Protection Agency (who shall chair the Task 
            Force), the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the 
            Interior, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of 
            Commerce, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, 
            the Secretary of Transportation, the Secretary of Homeland 
            Security, the Secretary of the Army, and the Chairman of the 
            Council on Environmental Quality. A member of the Task Force 
            may designate, to perform the Task Force functions of the

[[Page 920]]

            member, any person who is part of the member's department, 
            agency, or office and who is either an officer of the United 
            States appointed by the President or a full-time employee 
            serving in a position with pay equal to or greater than the 
            minimum rate payable for GS-15 of the General Schedule. The 
            Task Force shall report to the President through the 
            Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality.
(ii)         The Task Force shall establish a ``Great Lakes Regional 
            Working Group'' (Working Group) composed of the appropriate 
            regional administrator or director with programmatic 
            responsibility for the Great Lakes system for each agency 
            represented on the Task Force including: the Great Lakes 
            National Program Office of the Environmental Protection 
            Agency; the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, 
            National Park Service, and United States Geological Survey 
            within the Department of the Interior; the Natural Resources 
            Conservation Service and the Forest Service of the 
            Department of Agriculture; the National Oceanic and 
            Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce; 
            the Department of Housing and Urban Development; the 
            Department of Transportation; the Coast Guard within the 
            Department of Homeland Security; and the Army Corps of 
            Engineers within the Department of the Army. The Working 
            Group will coordinate and make recommendations on how to 
            implement the policies, strategies, projects, and priorities 
            of the Task Force.
    (c) Management Principles for Regional Collaboration of National 
Significance. To further the policy described in section 1, the Task 
Force shall recognize and apply key principles and foster conditions to 
ensure successful collaboration. To that end, the Environmental 
Protection Agency will coordinate the development of a set of principles 
of successful collaboration.
    Sec. 4. Great Lakes National Program Office. The Great Lakes 
National Program Office of the Environmental Protection Agency shall 
assist the Task Force and the Working Group in the performance of their 
functions. The Great Lakes National Program Manager shall serve as chair 
of the Working Group.
    Sec. 5. Preservation of Authority. Nothing in this order shall be 
construed to impair or otherwise affect the functions of the Director of 
the Office of Management and Budget relating to budget, administrative, 
regulatory, and legislative proposals. Nothing in this order shall be 
construed to affect the statutory authority or obligations of any 
Federal agency or any bi-national agreement with Canada.
    Sec. 6. Judicial Review. This order is intended only to improve the 
internal management of the Federal Government and is not intended to, 
and does not, create any right, benefit, or trust responsibility, 
substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by a party 
against the United States, its departments, agencies, instrumentalities 
or entities, its officers or employees, or any other person.
                                                George W. Bush
 The White House,
 May 18, 2004.

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 8:45 a.m., May 19, 2004]

Note: This Executive order was published in the Federal Register on May 

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 920-922]
Pages 903	940
Week Ending Friday, May 21, 2004
Remarks Following a Cabinet Meeting and an Exchange With Reporters

May 19, 2004

    The President. Thank you for coming. I've just met with my Cabinet 
to discuss a variety of issues. We spent a lot of time talking about the 
situation in Iraq. I detailed our plan and our strategy to transfer full 
sovereignty to the Iraqi people on June the 30th. I reminded them that a 
lot of progress has been made already toward that transfer. Eleven 
ministries are now run by Iraqi citizens--I might add, capably run by 
Iraqi citizens.

[[Page 921]]

    I discussed with the Cabinet the plans of Mr. Brahimi, the U.N. 
representative who is consulting with Iraqi leadership and Iraqi 
citizenry, as well as our own Government officials there, about the 
interim government and who will occupy the positions of responsibility 
in that government. I anticipate in the next couple of weeks decisions 
will be made toward who will be the President and the Vice Presidents as 
well as the Prime Minister and other ministers.
    Thirdly, we talked about the U.N. Security Council resolution, which 
is--the Secretary is moving forward. He's in consultations with Security 
Council members--a Security Council resolution which will embrace the 
new interim government and the need to provide security so that free 
elections will happen as promised to the Iraqi people.
    We've got hard work to do. I told my Cabinet we've got hard work to 
do. After all, we saw the vivid savagery of the enemy. The decapitation 
of a U.S. citizen reminds us all about the barbaric nature of those who 
are trying to stop progress toward freedom. We understand the nature of 
that enemy. We also understand the nature of our brave troops. They're 
motivated. They're skilled. They're well trained. They will accomplish 
the mission.
    Then I talked about the economy. We're pleased with the economic 
progress here in America. After all, the growth rates are high. New jobs 
are being created; 1.1 million new jobs since last August have been 
created by the entrepreneurs and small-business owners and risktakers of 
America. And that's positive.
    I am concerned about the price of gasoline at the pump. I fully 
understand how that affects American consumers, how it crimps the 
budgets of moms and dads who are trying to provide for their families, 
how it affects the truck driver, how it affects the small-business 
    I anticipated this 3 years ago. I asked my team to put together a 
strategy to make us less dependent upon foreign sources of energy. I 
submitted that plan to the United States Congress. Now we want people to 
have it both ways, just like they've tried to have it both ways over the 
last couple of years. On the one hand, they decry the price at the pump, 
and on the other hand, they won't do anything about it. They won't take 
action. Congress needs to pass the energy plan.
    We had a very interesting discussion about capacity. For example, 
had ANWR been passed--had it not been vetoed in the past, we anticipate 
an additional million barrels of oil would have been coming out of that 
part of the world, which would obviously have a positive impact for 
today's consumers.
    And so it's time for some action here to get us less dependent. They 
need to pass that which I have submitted to Congress, so this country 
will become less dependent on foreign sources of energy.
    All in all, we're upbeat about the spread of freedom and peace and 
the ability for our fellow citizens to find work.
    Let me answer two questions, starting with Lindlaw [Scott Lindlaw, 
Associated Press].

Israeli Military Shelling Demonstrators

    Q. Thanks, Mr. President. You've called for maximum restraint from 
both sides in the Middle East. Today Israel's military acknowledged they 
fired four tank shells, machine guns, a missile into a crowd of 
demonstrators. One, was it justified? Two, what are you telling them, 
and what are you hearing?
    The President. I continue to urge restraint. It is essential that 
people respect innocent life, in order for us to achieve peace. And 
we'll get clarification from the Government. I haven't had a chance to 
speak to the Government or be briefed. But I am--I will continue to 
speak out about the need for all parties to respect innocent life in the 
Middle East.
    Caren [Caren Bohan, Reuters].

Gasoline Prices/Strategic Petroleum Reserve

    Q. Sir, Senator Kerry has suggested halting shipments to the 
emergency oil reserves. Your energy bill is a long-term strategy. What 
are some short-term steps that can be taken?
    The President. If people had acted on my energy bill when I 
submitted it 3 years ago, we would be in a much better situation today.
    Secondly, we will not play politics with the Strategic Petroleum 
Reserve. That Petroleum Reserve is in place in case of major

[[Page 922]]

disruptions of energy supplies to the United States. The idea of 
emptying the Strategic Petroleum Reserve plays--would put America in a 
dangerous position in the war on terror. We're at war. We face a tough 
and determined enemy on all fronts, and we must not put ourselves in a 
worse position in this war. And playing politics with the Strategic 
Petroleum Reserve would do just that.
    Thank you.

Note: The President spoke at 12:04 p.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White 
House. In his remarks, he referred to Lakhdar Brahimi, Special Adviser 
to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan; and American hostage Nicholas 
Berg, who was killed in Iraq in early May by senior Al Qaida associate 
Abu Musab Al Zarqawi. The Office of the Press Secretary also released a 
Spanish language transcript of these remarks.

[Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents]

[Page 922-923]
Pages 903	940
Week Ending Friday, May 21, 2004
Remarks Honoring NCAA Winter Champion Teams

May 19, 2004

    The President. Thanks for coming.
    Audience member. We'll be back. [Laughter]
    The President. Whoever said, ``We'll be back,'' it sounds like the 
Connecticut women's basketball team.
    I'm glad you all are here. This is what we call Champions Day. It is 
my high honor to welcome champions to the White House. I appreciate--I 
notice we've got a lot of folks from Connecticut here. [Laughter] Yes. 
We've got two fine United States Senators in Chris Dodd and Joe 
Lieberman. We're proud you're here. Nancy Johnson is here with us today. 
Chris Shays--you made it. Very good. And Rob Simmons is with us as well. 
Yes, there you go. [Laughter]
    They're here because Connecticut--University of Connecticut has done 
something really unusual. They have a women's champion and a men's 
champion in the same year, and we're proud to welcome them here. Maybe 

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