AL GORE FOR PRESIDENT
The League of Conservation Voters todayendorsed Vice President Al Gore in his bid for thepresidency. Highlighting Gore's leadership,commitment and record on environmental issues, andexpressing strong concerns about his opponent, TexasGovernor George W. Bush, LCV called Gore "the onlychoice" for environmentally concerned voters. LCVhanded the Gore 2000 campaign its first nationalenvironmental endorsement.
"When Al Gore wins, the planet wins," said LCVpresident Deb Callahan. "The 2000 election representsa significant crossroads for our environment. Bychoosing Al Gore, we guarantee thoughtful andcontinued progress in addressing the nation's and theworld's most pressing environmental problems. Incontrast, a George W. Bush presidency would threatenthe progress we've made in cleaning up our nation'sair and water and would enable polluters to profit atthe public's expense. The stakes have never beenhigher for the environment and Al Gore is the onlychoice for a cleaner, healthier future."
As vice president, Gore has been lauded as thestrongest and most knowledgeable environmental advocate to reach the White House. He has helped toshape the Clinton Administration's environmentalpolicies and appointments, fought againstCongressional efforts to rollback environmentalprotections and promoted updated clean air and cleanwater standards to protect the public's health. "Ifwe want a president committed to the people, not thepolluters, Al Gore is the only choice," said Callahan.
"I've been working hard to protect the environment fornearly a quarter-century," Vice President Gore said. "I look forward now to winning this election,side-by-side with the League of Conservation Voters."
Callahan said that no other single issue more clearlydistinguishes the differences between Gore and Bush. "For decades, Gore has proven his environmentalleadership, commitment and vision - he understands what is at stake for the environment and is willing tofight against the powerful special interests tostrengthen the laws that make our air safer to breatheand our water cleaner to drink."
"However, Gov. Bush's voluntary approach toenvironmental protection would dramatically weaken ournation's body of environmental and public healthregulations, and his record on adding and supportingpublic lands in Texas is dismal," continued Callahan."Bush is a polluter's closest ally. He has taken millions in campaign contributions from polluters andthe timber industry and has appointed industryrepresentatives to run Texas' environmental agency. Bush's approach to conservation has more in commonwith James Watt than Teddy Roosevelt."
Joining in the endorsement event were the executivedirectors of two state LCVs, John Rainwater of theCalifornia LCV, and Marcia Bystryn of the New YorkLCV, who both represent states that will be key to theoutcome of the presidential election. Rainwaterdelivered his organization's endorsement for the VicePresident, and Bystryn reiterated the New York group'searly primary endorsement. In addition, the TennesseeLCV board of directors voted Monday to endorse Gore.
"None of our children should have to worry whether thewater they drink is pure or the air they breathe isclean," Vice President Gore said. "And all of usshould work for strong, sustainable growth thatsafeguards the fabric of life, and does not disruptthe climate of the world."
The League of Conservation Voters is the politicalvoice for the national environmental and conservationcommunity. LCV works to elect pro-environmentcandidates to federal office, and is the only groupdedicated full-time to holding federal officialsaccountable on the environment. Since 1970, LCV hasproduced the National Environmental Scorecard that annually rates U.S. Representatives and Senators onkey environmental votes.
Vice President Al Gore is a leading voice for environmental protection. He has worked to strengthen protections for our air, land, and water. As Vice President, he has defended our environment against partisan Congressional attacks. As President, Gore will be a leading advocate for strong, forward-looking environmental and public health safeguards to protect current and future generations.
Al Gore: Championing Clean Water Protections
Gore: Making our water safe to drink. The number of Americans with reliably clean drinking water has grown by nearly 34 million since Bill Clinton and Al Gore took office. In l998, Gore and the administration announced the first public health standards to remove Cryptosporidium in large water systems that serve 140 million people, preventing up to 460,000 cases of waterborne illness each year by strengthening filtration and monitoring requirements. In March, the administration asked Congress for $825 million to help smaller systems, serving 18 million people, upgrade their facilities (1). In addition, the administration developed new drinking water regulations that require water systems to better inform consumers of water quality problems (2).
Gore: Making our nation's lakes, rivers, and streams safe for fishing and swimming. As Senator, Gore was an original cosponsor and helped pass a bill that strengthened the Clean Water Act (3). As Vice President, Gore has strongly opposed congressional attempts to weaken clean water protections either directly or via legislative "riders" attached to annual spending bills for the federal government (4). In 1997, Gore called for the EPA and Department of Agriculture to develop a Clean Water Action Plan to protect public health from the impacts of water pollution and improve water quality to allow fishing and swimming in more of our nation's lakes and rivers (5). Since that time federal agencies have worked more effectively with state and local agencies to protect watersheds and drinking water. More than 720,000 miles of streamside land have been enrolled in the National Conservation Buffer Initiative, designed to protect water quality. Citizens can be better informed about watershed health and beach water quality thanks to new resources on the Internet (6).
Al Gore: Fighting For Clean Air
Gore: Championing stronger clean air protections. In 1997, Gore strongly supported, and the administration approved, approved stricter clean air standards for soot and smog that could prevent up to 15,000 deaths per year and improve the lives of millions of Americans who suffer from asthma and other respiratory illnesses. The administration is now defending these tough standards from a legal assault by polluters (7). As Senator, Gore supported amendments to strengthen the Clean Air Act when it was reauthorized in 1990. As Vice President, he has opposed legislative efforts to weaken Clean Air Act enforcement through riders to appropriations bills (8).
Gore: Making our air cleaner and healthier. On Earth Day 2000, Gore pledged to reduce harmful emissions from older power plants that contribute to acid rain, high levels of mercury in water and global climate change (9). The administration pledged to reduce pollution from older coal-fired power plants, filing suit against a number of power plants for their impacts on air quality across the country (10). Additionally, the administration last year adopted new standards for cleaner gasoline and for cars and trucks that emit fewer harmful pollutants. When these standards are fully phased in-by 2009-cars will be 77 percent cleaner and light trucks will be 95 percent cleaner than those on the roads today (11).
Gore: Clearing the air in national parks. On Earth Day 1999, Gore announced an initiative to reduce smog in our national parks, where haze is obscuring views of such national treasures as the Shenandoah National Mountains and the Grand Canyon (12).
Al Gore: Protecting Our National Treasures
Gore: Protecting our public lands for current and future generations. Gore and the administration have protected more land in the lower 48 states in national monuments than any other administration. These new national monuments include: the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah; the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument in Arizona; and most recently, the Giant Sequoia National Monument in California (13).
Gore: Creating a Lands Legacy for all Americans. Gore and the administration have worked to restore full funding to the Land and Water Conservation Fund-used to buy land for national parks, wildlife refuges, and forests through the Lands Legacy initiative. Major funding initiatives in recent years have protected land in Florida's Everglades, old growth redwood groves in California and Yellowstone National Park from the impacts of a large gold mine (14).
Al Gore: Finding Solutions to Global Warming
In the Senate, he sponsored legislation to study the implications of global warming and to encourage the development of preventative technologies (15). He led the United States delegation to the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, where the process of developing international consensus on climate was begun, and helped to produce an agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the Kyoto Global Warming Conference in 1997.
Al Gore: Protecting Communities From Harmful Chemicals
Gore: Informing the public about toxics. Gore and the administration have significantly expanded communities' right to know about toxic releases to air, land and water. The administration has nearly doubled the number of harmful chemicals that polluters must report and increased by 30 percent the number of facilities required to report. These releases are then made public through the annual Toxic Release Inventory (16).
Gore: Cleaning up toxic waste. In 1978, Congressman Gore chaired the first congressional oversight hearing on dumping of toxic waste, a problem that posed serious health threats in communities nationwide. This hearing laid the groundwork for passage of the Superfund toxic cleanup law in 1980 (17). The Clinton-Gore administration has completed cleanup at 525 toxic waste sites. Private industry toxic chemical releases are down 23 percent since 1991, and Defense Department releases have fallen nearly 65 percent since 1994 (18).
Written by: The League of Conservation Voters
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