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The National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory Event with DaimlerChrysler and UPS, Ann Arbor, Michigan

05/19/2003
Remarks of Governor Christine Todd Whitman,
Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
at the
National Vehicle and Fuels Emissions Laboratory
Ann Arbor, Michigan

May 19, 2003


Thank you, Jeff (Holmstead), for that introduction.

I'm pleased to be here today at EPA's National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Lab B the premier facility in the Nation for testing and evaluating vehicles and emission control technologies and for measuring fuel economy.

I'm also delighted to welcome DaimlerChrysler and UPS here today. When I was a girl growing up on a farm in rural New Jersey B and yes, there was and still is such a thing as rural New Jersey B I remember how exciting it was when that big, brown UPS truck would pull up our driveway bringing a package B wondering what was in it, if it was something for me.

Even our dogs recognized the sound of the truck B the moment they = d hear it off in the distance, they'd start to bark, knowing there would soon be a deliveryman coming up the walk at whom they could growl fiercely.

Today, UPS and DaimlerChrysler are together making an important, new delivery. They=re delivering something to all of us, something that will help make the air we breathe cleaner and our skies clearer. They = re delivering a commitment to introduce the first efficient, zero emissions fuel cell vehicles into a commercial delivery vehicle fleet in the country. And in making this commitment, they are taking a giant step forward for the environment and for the health of the American people.

In his 2003 State of the Union address, President Bush challenged America to move the country toward greater use of hydrogen as an energy source. His request for $1.7 billion to support research into the development of efficient, affordable hydrogen fuel cells represents a significant investment in both energy self-sufficiency and environmental protection.

I am delighted that UPS and DaimlerChrysler have risen to the President's challenge in their own way B by matching their corporate missions with their sense of corporate responsibility to the Nation. There's no doubt that this initiative will help us reach the day when the hydrogen economy moves from being a vision to a concrete reality.

Before the year is over, DaimlerChrysler will build and UPS will begin operating several hydrogen fuel cell vehicles that will take to the road in southeast Michigan. These vehicles will be fueled right here, at a new hydrogen fueling station we will be installing soon. They will be put to the test on normal, day-to-day service, delivering packages to customers and cleaner air to all of us. One might say that "Brown" B and DaimlerChrysler B will be helping to make the sky bluer and the environment greener. That's the sort of colorful language I like to hear.

So in a few months when people in this part of the country see a brown UPS car or Sprinter van driving through their neighborhood, there will be more than the usual excitement at the arrival of the UPS delivery person. For those vehicles will be carrying more than just packages, they = ll be carrying the future B a future in which the air we breathe will be cleaner and healthier because the energy we use in our vehicles will emit nothing more than a little water vapor.

The initiative these two companies and their leaders are showing complements the concerted effort President Bush is making to leave America's air cleaner than we found it. That effort includes his Clear Skies Act of 2003, an historic proposal to reduce the emissions from power plants by more than 70 percent. It includes the most aggressive effort to control emissions from non-road diesel engines that power such things as construction and farm equipment. And it includes our Clean School Bus USA Initiative, a commitment to ensure that by the year 2010, every public school child in America that rides a school bus will be riding a clean school bus.

Taken together B and working together with partners like UPS and DaimlerChrysler B I believe that the air our children and grandchildren will breathe will be cleaner than what we breathe today. Together, we are making a difference. Together, we are delivering on our commitment to the American people.

Thank you.