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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Vote Gore

Air Date: Week of

Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope tells us that Al Gore’s accomplishments, and his plans for the future, would make him the best environmental president ever.


CURWOOD: As Mark mentioned, at the end of the day it is the president you're voting for. Neither of the two major party candidates, Democrat Al Gore or Republican George W. Bush, has put the environment at the top of his platform. But issues of environmental protection did draw fire in two of the debates and have come up from time to time on the campaign trail.

BUSH: If you own your own land, every day is Earth Day. (Cheers from the crowd)

GORE: I'll bet you, I wasn't the only one who paid extra attention to the study that came out showing that within 50 years there will be no ice at the North Pole in summer. Hello. (Audience laughter)

CURWOOD: As election day draws near, we ask supporters of the Democrat and Republican to tell us why their man has the best environmental platform. We begin with the Executive Director of the Sierra Club, Carl Pope.

POPE: I support Al Gore for President. So do the Sierra Club, the League of Conservation Voters, and grassroots environmental leaders all over America. Al Gore will be the most committed, best qualified environmental President ever. On November seventh we decide the air we breathe, the water our children drink, and the land our grandchildren inherit. Those who see no real difference between Gore and Bush, who say they're Tweedledee and Tweedledum, are ignoring their records on our environment. When science showed we needed tougher soot and smog standards, Al Gore challenged every major industrial lobby in Washington and battled successfully for stronger air standards. Al Gore fought to clean up emissions from cars and trucks. He closed the smog loophole for SUV's. When the oil industry tried to derail clean gasoline, he fought them in Congress and won. Under George W. Bush, Texas has the worst air quality in the nation. Schools in Bush's hometown Odessa have air pollution monitors to measure if kids get recess, or if it's too dangerous to play. Al Gore has fought for clean water. When Newt Gingrich tried to weaken the Clean Water Act, Gore led the fight that stopped him. When the Republican Congress tried to block enforcement of drinking water standards for arsenic, Gore stood in their way. Politicians in both parties wanted to weaken these standards. Gore just said no. Texas leads America in dumping toxics in streams and lakes. When a paper mill threatened to pollute Lake Sam Rayburn, Governor Bush wanted to let them. Small businesses and Texas fishermen had to turn to Al Gore for help. Teddy Roosevelt told us to measure our civilization by the landscape it leaves behind. Al Gore has defended that landscape. He supported new national monuments on the California coast and the giant sequoias, and in the mountains of Oregon and Washington. He pledged to protect our wild and ancient forests from logging and road building. He'll quadruple federal funds for open space and wildlife. Bush opposes each and every one of these land protection initiatives. Finally, Al Gore held the first hearings and led the struggle against global warming. He flew to Kyoto himself to rescue the global warming treaty. Gore is fighting for the largest financial package for energy conservation and renewable energy in history. Ralph Nader has taken similar stands, but Nader is running for five percent, not 51 percent. If we want to elect a strong environmental President, there is only one choice. Air, water, land, and the integrity of the globe's climate itself, four good reasons to vote for Al Gore. Four ways to reply when someone tells you, "They're all the same."



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