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George Herbert Walker Bush Amends the Clean Air Act (SOLD)
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Bush thanks the Chairman of the committee that worked to write the 1990 Clean Air Act.

GEORGE H.W. BUSH. Typed Letter Signed as President, to Carlos J. Moorhead. Washington, D.C., December 11, 1990. 1 p., 7 x 10½ in. On White House letterhead. With: Navy blue ceremonial pen, with Presidential seal and facsimile Bush signature imprinted in gold, in original box.

Inventory #22580       SOLD — please inquire about other items


“In the summer of 1989, I sent Congress legislation providing for comprehensive reform of our nation’s Clean Air laws. I did so because every man, woman and child in America deserves to breathe cleaner air. The conventional wisdom said these reforms were mere rhetoric, and that regional differences or partisan bickering would ultimately block their enactment. For over a decade the conventional wisdom was right, but this year we proved it to be wrong. This legislation moves the debate beyond rhetoric and represents a giant step toward cleaner air for all Americans. On November 15, thanks in large part to your diligence and dedication, we began to write a new chapter in American environmental history when I signed the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990—the first comprehensive reform of our Clean Air laws in 13 years. This legislation will reduce acid rain, decreases smog in America’s cities and slash emissions of cancer causing air toxic chemicals. It will accomplish these goals by offering incentives, choice and flexibility to find the most efficient and effective methods of pollution control possible. Please accept this ceremonial pen commemorating the signing of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments as a token of my appreciation.”

Historical Background

While the Clean Air Act of 1970 and 1977 did improve air quality, the problems of urban air pollutants such as smog and ozone, carbon monoxide emissions, and particulate matter pollutants remained. The ozone problem was among the most troublesome, especially considering the rise in urban asthma rates. The 1990 amendments were designed to cut urban smog and toxic air emissions, and to curb acid rain. The amendments also established a permitting process and offered improvements to enforcement. By large votes in both the House and Senate (401 – 21 and 89 – 11, respectively), American lawmakers adopted the approximate parameters of the Revised Montreal Protocol, which included a phase-out of ozone producing compounds. Bush signed the new law on November 15, 1990.

Congressman Carlos J. Moorhead of California led the bipartisan House committee that drafted a bill for reducing emissions in the top polluting cities including, Los Angeles, the number-one offender. The 1990 Clean Air Act was the first revision to the law in 13 years and a major accomplishment for a divided Congress. The original Clean Air Act of 1970 was revised in 1977, 1990, and 2011.

Carlos J. Moorhead (1922 – 2011) was an attorney, California State Assemblyman, and 12-term Republican Congressman from southern California. He served on the Judiciary and Commerce committees in the House of Representatives, and specialized in energy policy, copyright law, and cable television legislation.