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Statement About Signing the Energy Supply and Environmental Coordination Act of 1974

June 26, 1974

I HAVE signed H.R. 14368, the Energy Supply and Environmental Coordination Act of 1974. This bill represents a first step by the Congress toward achieving a balance between our environmental requirements and our energy requirements. While the Congress has begun to address the complex problem of reconciling these two priorities, it must be clear that this step is only a. beginning and that more remains to be done.

This bill provides two principal authorities. First, the bill amends the Clean Air Act by extending for up to 2 years the automotive emission standards that currently apply to 1975-model, light-duty vehicles and engines. This amendment will provide additional time for the development of emission control technology and permit manufacturers to focus attention on improving automobile fuel economy.

Second, the bill provides authority for a limited program to convert power plants and other major fuel-burning installations from the use of petroleum products and natural gas to the use of coal. This authority represents a step in the right direction, but it does not provide a basis for the long-term program of coal conversion necessary to achieve our goal of developing the capacity for energy self-sufficiency.

As I indicated to the Congress in my January 23, 1974, energy crisis message, the Clean Air Act has provided the basis for major improvements in air quality, and we must continue our progress toward even greater improvement. It has become clear, however, that certain requirements established by the act cannot be achieved within the deadlines allotted, and others have unacceptable economic and social implications.

A thorough review of the Clean Air Act was undertaken by the appropriate executive branch agencies. Following that review, EPA Administrator Russell Train submitted proposed amendments to the Clean Air Act to the Congress on behalf of the Administration.

Since the bill that I have signed deals in only a limited way with the problem of insuring that our environmental priorities and our energy needs are managed evenhandedly, I urge the Congress to review the Administration's proposed amendments and to act quickly and favorably upon them.

Note: As enacted, H.R. 14368, approved June 22, 1974, is Public Law 93-319 (88 Stat. 246).

Richard Nixon, Statement About Signing the Energy Supply and Environmental Coordination Act of 1974 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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