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Public Papers - 1991

Remarks on Signing the Federal Energy Management Executive Order

1991-04-17

The President. Before we get started on the Cabinet business, I want to just conduct another piece of important business. As you know, one of our key goals is the implementation of the national energy strategy.

And I'm very pleased to sign this Executive order today that directs all the Federal Agencies to take whatever appropriate action is necessary to reduce their energy use by at least 20 percent by the year 2000 and reduce fuel consumption by at least 10 percent by the year 1995. This order is a component, an important component, of the national energy strategy. And it demonstrates our commitment to a balanced approach for achieving an energy future that is secure, that is efficient, and that is environmentally sound.

The savings come from reduced energy use in Federal buildings and facilities, fuel savings in the whole Federal vehicle fleet, increased reliance on alternative fuels and alternative-fueled vehicles, and use of other energy-efficient products. Such actions would then save up to an estimated 0 million per year by our target year 2000, the equivalent of up to 100,000 barrels of oil per day. So, achieving these important and ambitious goals is part of our strategy for enhancing our overall energy security. And doing so is commonsense business management, I might add.

So, I wanted to do this with all the Cabinet here to ask for your support on all of this, hoping that this initiative will also encourage the private sector to undertake similar actions. An awful lot can be done just by the actions that I've outlined here.

So now, Jim, many thanks to you for your key role in the energy strategy. I will sign this.

[At this point, the President signed the Executive order.]

It's all yours. All right. That's done.

Assistance for Iraqi Refugees

Q. Mr. President, are you willing to relax the sanctions to allow Iraq to sell oil and supposedly to get food and supplies for the Kurdish refugees?

The President. Look, I don't want to take any questions.

I will say that the priority is, get the relief to these people that are suffering. Then we'll talk about that. But this relief effort will go and must go smoothly. And then we can consider extraneous matters, matters that may be important to Iraq. But our priorities -- the world's priorities -- are set. And they say, let these refugees be settled on the flat places temporarily, and let them be fed, let medicine get in there.

And then when that is done and everything's done peacefully and harmoniously, then I might be willing to consider something else. But we're not going to -- we're going to be sure what comes first. And what comes first is taking care of these people that have been deprived of their homes and that are terrified and also that are suffering very much. So, that's the order in which we will address these problems.

Thank you all very much.

Note: The President spoke at 2:35 p.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Secretary of Energy James D. Watkins. The Executive order is listed in Appendix E at the end of this volume.

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