[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book I)]
[January 31, 1998]
[Pages 150-151]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

The President's Radio Address
January 31, 1998

    Good morning. Today I'd like to talk to you about one of the ways we 
are strengthening our Nation for the 21st century: our bold new efforts 
to deal with the challenge of global climate change through the force of 
the market and the power of American innovation.
    The world's leading climate scientists have concluded, 
unequivocally, that if we don't reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases 
into the atmosphere all across the Earth, then the temperature of the 
Earth will heat up, seas will rise, and increasingly severe floods and 

[[Page 151]]

will occur, disrupting life in low coastal areas, disrupting 
agricultural production, and causing other difficulties for the 
generations of the 21st century. Fortunately, we can avert these dangers 
and do it while keeping our economy going strong.
    This past December, America led the world to reach a historic 
agreement committing nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through 
market forces, new technology, and energy efficiency. We can do some 
things right here, right now, to show that America is doing its part. In 
my State of the Union Address, I called for an unprecedented commitment 
of $6 billion for research and tax incentives to mobilize cutting-edge 
technology in the fight against global warming. I'd like to explain just 
what that means to you.
    First, we want to help bring down the price of high-efficiency cars 
for every American. Earlier this month, Ford, GM, and Chrysler unveiled 
prototypes of advanced-technology cars that get more than twice the 
mileage of today's models with no sacrifice in comfort, safety, or 
performance. When cars like these begin to enter the showrooms in the 
year 2000, we'll give everyone who buys one a $3,000 tax credit to apply 
to every size car. When these cars become even more efficient, we'll 
increase the tax credit to $4,000. We're committed to making it not only 
wiser but actually cheaper to buy highly efficient cars.
    Second, we'll help you turn your home into a model of energy 
efficiency. We'll offer tax credits that will give you a discount of 20 
percent off the cost of energy-saving water heaters and air 
conditioners. And we'll also offer a tax credit--worth up to $2,000--to 
help you put solar panels on your roof or to help you buy an energy-
efficient home in the first place.
    Third, we will accelerate research on clean, renewable energy and 
energy-saving technologies. We'll help to develop energy-efficient 
lighting, refrigerators, and other appliances that will mean lower 
monthly bills for you and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. And we will 
work with industry to cut their energy use so that they can also protect 
the environment while enhancing the bottom line.
    Whenever we act to heal our environment, some always question 
whether it will hurt our economy. But today, our economy is the 
strongest in a generation and our environment, the cleanest in a 
generation. Whether the problem has been acid rain, deadly pesticides, 
polluted rivers, or the ozone hole, the ingenuity of the American people 
has always proved to carry the day--and we'll do it once again. Working 
together, we will overcome the challenge of global climate change and 
create new avenues of growth for our economy. And most important, we'll 
honor our deepest responsibility to pass on this home, without harm, to 
our children, our grandchildren, and generations yet to come.
    Thanks for listening.

Note: The address was recorded at 4:40 p.m. on January 30 in the 
Roosevelt Room at the White House for broadcast at 10:06 a.m. on January