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pd24my04 Remarks at the Peace Officers Memorial Service...
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 system. (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 20. <DOC> [Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents] [frwais.access.gpo.gov] [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 owner. 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. <DOC> [Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents] [frwais.access.gpo.gov] [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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