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E-M:/ Sierra Club endorses Gore, and political reforms

Enviro-Mich message from Lydia H Fischer <lydfisch@mindspring.com>

>     For Immediate Release                    Media Contact:
>     July 22, 2000                            Allen Mattison, 202-675-7903
>                                SIERRA CLUB: 
>     WASHINGTON - The Sierra Club today endorsed Vice President Al Gore to 
>     be the next President of the United States.  
>     The Sierra Club Board of Directors also voted today to clean up 
 American politics by: including serious third party candidates, 
>     including Ralph Nader, in the Presidential debates; getting big money 
>     out of politics by closing loopholes in current campaign-finance laws; 
>     establishing effective spending limits; adopting public financing for 
>     Senate and congressional candidates; and supporting the 
>     free-television-time proposal developed by the Alliance for Better 
>     Campaigns.
>     "The Sierra Club endorses Vice President Gore because he is committed 
>     to cutting air and water pollution and protecting our nation's 
>     treasured forests and wildlands," said Dr. Robert Cox, Sierra Club's 
>     volunteer President.  "As Vice President, Al Gore helped strengthen 
>     clean air health standards, sped clean up of Superfund toxic waste 
>     sites, reduced automobile tailpipe pollution, and protected America's 
>     spectacular landscapes. This is the kind of leadership the American 
>     people are seeking in our next President.
>     "Governor Bush, on the other hand, has said that if he's elected, he 
>     will weaken toxic-waste clean-up standards, allow oil drilling in the 
>     Arctic Refuge, and increase logging in National Forests," Cox 
>     continued.  "When it comes to protecting our environment, Al Gore is 
>     by far our best shot at a President committed to a sustainable future, 
>     tested as a political leader, and qualified to lead America into the 
>     next century."
>     The Gore endorsement capped a 6-month process in which the grassroots 
>     organization surveyed each of its chapters and thousands of its 
 volunteer leaders.  Thirty-nine chapters, representing 413,854 
>     members, favored a Gore endorsement; one chapter, with 3,006 members, 
>     supported an endorsement for Ralph Nader; 16 chapters, with 138,236 
>     members, did not respond.
>     "When the Sierra Club asked our local chapters and thousands of 
 volunteer leaders whether to endorse a Presidential candidate, the 
>     response was overwhelming: They want Al Gore in the White House, 
>     protecting America's environment," Cox said.  "Our members believe that 
>     a vote for Gore is the best way to protect our families from pollution 
>     and safeguard our nation's landscapes for future generations to enjoy."
>     The Sierra Club Board of Directors recognized consumer-advocate Ralph 
>     Nader's record of work for the environment, but emphasized the urgency 
>     of defeating Texas Governor George Bush as an additional reason for 
>     endorsing Vice-President Gore.
>     "Our members looked at the records of all the candidates," said Cox. 
>     "We looked at their positions, their records, and their experience. 
>     Al Gore is our overwhelming choice."
>     The Sierra Club, with over 600,000 members, is the nation's oldest and 
>     largest grassroots environmental organization.  The Board voted to 
>     endorse Vice President with 12 in favor, two against, and one 
>     abstention.
>                        Resolution endorsing Gore:  
>     "The Sierra Club endorses Al Gore for President of the United States. 
>     We will do everything in our power to help Mr. Gore win the 
>     presidency.  Mr. Gore has a long history as an advocate for the 
>     environment and we look forward to his Presidency and a new beginning 
>     for strong environmental protection in this country."
>                        Resolution on cleaning up politics: 
>     "Working on the current election is not enough.  The single-round, 
>     winner-take-all political process has problems.  We support 
>     alternative electoral methods that better reflect the diversity of 
>     public opinion.  We need to get big money out of politics by closing 
>     loopholes in current campaign finance laws, establishing effective 
>     spending limits, and adopting public financing for Senate and 
congressional candidates.  We support the free television time 
>     proposal developed by the Alliance for Better Campaigns.  It is 
>     unrealistic to believe that such changes can be accomplished in this 
>     election, which will be over in a few months.  It's too large a job, 
>     and the time is too short.
>     "Important issues relating to globalization, trade agreements, 
>     democracy and the environment have been raised in a substantive way by 
>     Ralph Nader.  Sierra Club supports many of Mr. Nader's environmental 
>     and campaign finance reform proposals.  While the Sierra Club does not 
>     endorse Ralph Nader in this election, we believe that serious third 
>     party candidates, including Mr. Nader, should be included in 
>     presidential debates."
>                                # # #
>                           ON ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
>     _________________________________
>     GORE
>      Expanded Community Right to Know program requiring companies to 
>     report toxic chemical emissions.
>      Sped up and increased Superfund cleanups.
>     BUSH
>      Seeks to weaken Superfund cleanups.
>      Texas leads the nation in injecting toxic waste into underground 
>     wells, disposing 60% more toxic waste into injection wells than any 
>     other state.
>     _________________________________
>     GORE
>      Strengthened soot and smog clean-air health-standards, fighting 
>     legal challenges to those protections.
>      Adopted strictest ever emissions standards for cars, SUVs and light 
>     trucks. 
>      Required elimination of 90% of sulfur from gasoline.
>      Called on power plants to cut their air pollution and global warming 
>     emissions.
>      Proposed slashing sulfur levels in diesel fuel.
>     BUSH
>      Texas leads the U.S. in toxic industrial air pollution, but Bush 
>     chose not to require outdated facilities to clean up.
>      Texas state officials sought to weaken Clean Air Act.
>      Houston passed Los Angeles last year as America's smoggiest city. 
>      When came to office in 1995, cancelled auto emissions testing 
>     program in Houston.
>     _________________________________
>     GORE
>      Expanded funding for clean water programs.
>      Proposed slashing arsenic levels in drinking water.
>     BUSH
>      Proposed weakening Texas clean-water standards.
>      Texas leads the U.S. in violation of clean water discharge 
>     standards.
>     _________________________________
>     GORE
>      Has a stronger position than the Administration on protecting 
>     roadless, wild areas of our National Forests.  Called for an end to 
>     all logging in those unspoiled places and immediate protection for the 
>     Tongass National Forest in Alaska.
>      Enacted the California Desert Protection Act, largest public lands 
>     protection bill ever in the lower 48 states.
>      Opposes drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
>      Created or expanded 10 new National Monuments to protect landscapes 
>     threatened by development. 
>      Reduced logging in National Forests by 80% since 1993.
>      Extended offshore oil leasing moratorium in California and Florida 
>     for 10 years.
>      Proposed Lands Legacy Initiative.
>      Supports expanding the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
>     BUSH
>      Seeks to increase logging in National Forests.
>      Would allow oil companies to drill in Arctic Refuge.
>      Aims to reverse President Clinton's plan to protect wild, roadless 
>     National Forest areas.
>      Opposes newly created National Monuments.
>      Supports funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. 
>     GORE
>      Supports McCain-Feingold bill to ban soft-money donations to 
political parties.
>      Supports quasi-public financing of Congressional elections.
>     BUSH
>      Opposes McCain-Feingold reforms.
>      Opposes public financing of elections.
>                                                # # #

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