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Proclamation 6274—Earth Day, 1991

April 22, 1991

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

During the two decades that have passed since our Nation first observed Earth Day, we have made great strides in restoring and protecting our environment. Through our firm commitment and our substantial investment, we have improved significantly the quality of our air, land, and water resources. The United States leads the world in environmental protection, and we intend to keep it that way.

Our accomplishments during the past year are a special source of pride. During 1990 the United States was instrumental in strengthening the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer. A total phaseout of chlorofluoro-carbons, or CFCs, was adopted in July as part of a package of amendments to the Protocol. The United States also signed the Basel Convention, which requires that transboundary shipments of hazardous wastes be conducted in an environmentally sound manner. We expanded the world's leading global climate change research program, and we took several domestic policy actions including an ambitious reforestation initiative, that will reduce harmful emissions that can contribute to the "greenhouse effect." In November, I signed into law important amendments to the Clean Air Act -- amendments based, in large part, on a proposal that I submitted to the Congress in July 1989. That proposal helped to break a 13-year legislative logjam. The new Clean Air Act will reduce risks of cancer, respiratory disease, and other health problems; it will limit damage to crops, forests, parks, lakes, and streams; and it will help to reduce smog in our Nation's cities.

On Earth Day 1990 and, indeed, throughout the year, millions of Americans participated in activities that underscore how individuals can make a difference in cleaning up and protecting the environment. Today countless Americans are changing their daily habits to reflect a renewed sense of environmental stewardship, and many businesses are working to apply new, environmentally conscious methods of operation. As we celebrate Earth Day 1991, we affirm, once again, the importance of public education and individual action to further progress in environmental protection. This is a good opportunity to remind ourselves and our neighbors of both our responsibilities toward the environment and the rewards of meeting them.

Every American can make a difference at the grassroots level. For example, we can recycle bottles, paper, and used motor oil, and we can help to conserve energy by driving less and by adjusting the thermostats in our homes and offices.

Observed in the glorious new light of spring, Earth Day should inspire us to treat this magnificent yet fragile planet will commensurate care and attention. Recognizing our obligation toward future inhabitants of this earthly home, and knowing that global problems have local solutions, let us make a renewed personal commitment to protecting the environment and to using our resources wisely.

To increase public awareness of the need for active participation in environmental protection, the Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 119, has designated April 22, 1991, as "Earth Day" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this day.

Now, Therefore, I, George Bush, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim April 22, 1991, as Earth Day. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities designed to promote greater understanding of ecological issues. I also ask all Americans to set an example of environmental stewardship in their daily activities.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-second day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fifteenth.

Signature of George Bush


George Bush, Proclamation 6274—Earth Day, 1991 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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