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Bush Lists Environmental Accomplishments

During a ceremony to designtate three new Marine National Monuments in the Pacific today, President Bush defended his environmental record, CBS News' White House Correspondent Mark Knoller reports.

"Since 2001 we have put common sense policies in place...and I can say upon departure, our air is cleaner, our water is purer and our lands are better protected," the president asserted.

Mr. Bush also acknowledged that this may not be his assumed legacy and that his assertion is "contrary to conventional wisdom in the news media."

He challenged his audience to assess his record "and you can be the judge for yourself," Knoller reports. The president listed what he sees as environmental accomplishments during his administration.

1. "Since 2001, air pollution has dropped by 12%. The strictest air quality standards in American history are now in place – as are strong regulations on power plant and diesel engine emissions."

2. "More than 3.6-million acres of wetlands have been protected, restored or improved."

3. "Millions of acres of vital natural habitat have been conserved on farms."

4. "More than 27-million acres of federal forest have been protected from catastrophic wildfires."

5. "The maintenance backlog in our National Parks has been reduced."

6. "More than 11,000 abandoned industrial brownfields are on their way back to productive use."

7. "We've had a new focus on cleaning debris from our oceans."

8. "Popular recreational fish like striped bass and red drum are gaining new protection. And new marine protected areas are helping improve the health of our fisheries off the southeast coast."

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