Kuwaiti oil field on fireJan. 23, 1980: U.S. President Jimmy Carter, in his annual State of the Union Address, praises the nation for reducing its oil consumption by 8% during the previous year.

Jan. 23, 1991: With his troops fleeing Kuwait after a disastrous attempt at occupying the country, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein orders the Kuwaiti oil fields set ablaze (at right). Smoke chokes Kuwait and southern Iraq until the last fire is extinguished ten months later. Iraq also deliberately releases up to 400 million gallons of oil into the Persian Gulf from tankers and oil platforms.

Jan. 23, 1996: U.S. President Bill Clinton lambastes the Republican-controlled Congress for cutting funds for environmental enforcement, but adds, "The most significant environmental gains in the last 30 years were made under a Democratic Congress and President Richard Nixon. We can work together."

Photo: Army Vet/Flickr

This feature is compiled by Peter Dykstra, an MNN contributor and publisher of Environmental Health News and The Daily Climate.

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