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E-M:/ Sierra Club Reacts to Norton Committee Vote

Enviro-Mich message from "Daniel Farough" <daniel.farough@sierraclub.org>

January 24, 2001

David Willett, 202-675-6698


 Sierra Club Praises Sens. Schumer, Wyden for Voting to Protect America's
Public Lands

Washington, DC -- The Sierra Club today expressed disappointment that the
U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted to confirm Gale
Norton as Secretary of the Interior, but praised Senators Charles Schumer
(D-NY) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) for opposing her nomination.

Under tough questioning by Schumer, Wyden and other Senators, Norton
disavowed some of her extremist positions, but the Sierra Club continues to
believe Norton will not be an adequate steward of America's public lands
and urges the full Senate to reject her nomination.

"Two days of hearings cannot negate the decades Norton's worked to
undermine environmental protections," said Carl Pope, executive director of
the Sierra Club.

"After a career spent trying to dismantle laws protecting our National
Parks, streams and wildlife, we're skeptical about Norton's sudden u-turn
on these issues," Pope said.  "Senators extracted from Norton a pledge to
uphold the laws safeguarding our public lands, but we believe a lifetime of
actions speak louder than two days of words. Norton has worked for decades
as a lobbyist and lawyer for extractive and polluting industries."

Pope added: "We understand that deference is paid to a President's
nominations, but Senators also have a duty to withhold their consent when a
pick espouses views far from those held by mainstream Americans.  We
applaud Senators Schumer and Wyden for saying no to Norton's extremism."

Through local press conferences in over a dozen states, email campaigns,
phonebanks, volunteer mobilizing, radio and television advertising, and
other grassroots actions, the Sierra Club has educated Americans about Gale
Norton's anti-environmental extremist positions and raised serious
questions about her qualifications for Interior Secretary.

                                     # # #
The Sierra Club is the nation's oldest and largest grassroots environmental
organization.  For the latest news, please visit

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