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Public Papers - 1989

Statement on Signing the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Technology Competitiveness Act of 1989

1989-12-11

I have today signed S. 488, the ``Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Technology Competitiveness Act of 1989.'' This legislation is intended to enhance the commercialization and improve the competitiveness of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

Renewable energy and energy efficiency will play an important role in our Nation's energy strategy particularly with regard to current concerns about global climatic change. The development of renewable energy resources and improvements in energy efficiency will provide many benefits to the United States, including a diversification of our fuel and technology mix and increased use of less polluting energy resources. The support the Act gives to research and development programs in these technologies is expected to bring closer the day when we have energy alternatives that meet the energy demands of a growing economy with minimal impact on the environment.

This Act, however, needs clarification. Specifically, section 6(b)(3) of the Act requires the Secretary of Energy to appoint an Advisory Committee made up of representatives from various government and private entities. I have signed S. 488 with the understanding that the Advisory Committee's functions are purely advisory and that its recommendations in no way constrain the Secretary of Energy in the performance of his statutory duties. Thus, for example, I understand section 6(d), which permits the Secretary of Energy to take certain actions ``based on the recommendations'' of the Committee, simply to contemplate that the Secretary should take account of any recommendations provided.

Consistent with the Congress' purpose in enacting S. 488 and my constitutional prerogative to recommend only such legislation as I judge necessary and expedient, I read section 6(e)(1) as calling for a good faith effort to identify additional joint ventures worthy of support. Similarly, I will read section 4(a)(4) and 4(c) in a manner that does not interfere with my duty to recommend such measures as I deem appropriate.

George Bush

The White House,

December 11, 1989.

Note: S. 488, approved December 11, was assigned Public Law No. 101 - 218. The statement was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on December 12.

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