The American Presidency Project
John T. Woolley & Gerhard Peters • Santa Barbara, California return to original document
• Lyndon B. Johnson
Remarks Upon Signing the Clean Air Act.
December 17, 1963

I AM GLAD to approve this legislation which is to be known as the Clean Air Act. It will make possible a national effort to control air pollution, a serious and growing threat to both our health and our safety. Ninety percent of the population of our cities, over 100 million people, already suffer from a degree of air pollution that demands immediate action.

There are over 6,000 communities which need assistance. This act will permit expanded research, foster cooperative efforts among the States, provide better State and Federal control over pollution. The Federal Government will encourage industry to seek effective solutions to problems of pollution and organize cooperative projects with local, State, and Federal participation.

Now, under this legislation, we can halt the trend toward greater contamination of our atmosphere. We can seek to control industrial wastes discharged into the air. We can find the ways to eliminate dangerous haze and smog. All of us are very grateful to Congressman Roberts, to Senator Ribicoff, Senator Muskie, to the Chairmen of the Senate and House Committees, Senator McNamara and Congressman Harris, and to all of their colleagues in both the House and Senate who developed and guided this important bill through the Congress. They truly can be proud of the efforts they have made and the achievements that have resulted.

If we keep getting bills down here like the education bill and the pollution bill, I am going to have to take new bids on pens to see if we cannot increase the budget by getting cheaper pens!

Citation: Lyndon B. Johnson: "Remarks Upon Signing the Clean Air Act.", December 17, 1963. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project.
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