Bill Clinton
Fri, 22 Jan 1999 16:15:06 -0500

I've read a series of articles about Bill clinton and the lack of his
environmentalism lately. I've heard from people from more than a few
environmental groups who are dissatisfied with the seeming compramises their
groups are making. Personally I am upset with the NRC and their lack of
movement in promoting recycling...something others feel and has resulted in
the creation of the Grassroots Recycling Network.
I am curious about what people think of these thoughts and the following
article and what you think we ought to do about this???

The environment is getting Clinton and Gore
by Alexander Cockburn
San Jose Mercury

NOWHERE HAS the Clinton-Gore campaign drawn a deeper rhetorical line in sand
than over the question of the environment- Understandably so. Poll after
poll shows that the voters take green issues very seriously and adjust their
support of candidates and parties accordingly. No one knew this better than
the now-exiled Clinton strategist, Dick Morris. Back at the start of this
year, he began telling his boss that enviro issues were political dynamite,
particularly with the all-importent swing contingent, Republican women.
So this year, Bill Clinton and Al Gore have been pounding home this
message: A vote for Republicans is a vote for environmental pillage. Rallying
to the support of the White House have been all the major environmental
organizations. The approving chorus reached its crescendo at the Democratic
convention in Chicago, when the penultimate day of the proceedings was
reserved for hour upon hour of railing against Republican rapists of nature.
That same day, the League of Conservation Voters, formerly headed by
Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, sounded the final trump, with the ringing
declaration that "Bill Clinton's environmental record in office is one of the
best of any president." Clinton's running mate prompted even greater
exuberance from the
League: "Al Gore is without question the most committed environmentalist
ever to hold the office of vice president."
The league - an influential organization - had already drawn considerable
attention this year, with a well-publicized intervention in the tight Oregon
Senate race held to fill Bob Packwood's seat earlier this year. The league
threw its weight behind the Democrat Ron Wyden and later claimed it had given
him the winning edge. A couple of months later, the league issued its Dirty
Dozen list of enemies of nature who are up for re-election this year. All are
Republicans, and the league is committing money to campaigns against them.
Nothing better illustrates the political corruption of the national
environmental movement than these frenetic endorsements of Democrats,
starting with Clinton and Gore. This year, the big green groups have become
nothing more
than a public relations operation of the Democratic National Committee.
To cite Clinton as a committed environmentalist is, by any objective
standard, a sick joke. We need to go no further than the founder of the
League of Conservation Voters, America's senior green crusader, David Brower.
In June, Brower stated categorically that the Clinton-Gore record on the
environment "is worse than the Reagan-Bush record."
It's a startling statement but a valid one. The 1993-94 Congress, with
Democrats controlling both houses and the White House, produced fewer
pro-environment laws than any Congress since Dwight Eisenhower's time. Within
months of taking office, the Clinton administration backed off promise to
reform mining, grazing and logging practices on federal lands. Directly
betraying specific campaign pledges in Ohio, Al Gore announced that the
toxic waste incinerator outside East Liverpool, Ohio, would be fired up.
By the end of that congressional session, before the Gingrich takeover, the
Clinton team had engineered the resumption of logging in ancient forests,
sold out the Everglades and forced through the North American Free Trade
Agreement without doubt the most destructive environmental legislation since
the Green Revolution began in the Nixon era..
The League of Conservation Voters makes a particular point of all the
"excellent appointments of champions for the environment." These supposed
champions honored by the League include Carol Browner, head of the
Environmental Protection Agency, Tim Wirth, undersecretary of state, and
Babbitt himself. The common feature of all these appointees is that they have
used their environmental credentials to shove vile legislation and executive
orders down the
throats of their former colleagues.
From her first day in office, Browner targeted the Delaney Clause, a piece
of legislation dating from 1958, much hated by the food and chemical
industries because it prohibited known carcinogens from processed foods.
Four years later, in alliance with the Republicans, she had her way.
Wirth has been the point man on free trade and thus has supervised the
annulment of U.S. environmental laws on dirty gas, dolphin-safe tuna and the
import of deadly PCBs, polychlorinated biphenyls, from Canada and Mexico.
As secretary of the interior, Babbitt has overseen the administrative
dismantling of the Endangered Species Act. In a series of Munich-type
concessions, mining companies, real estate developers and timber
companies.can now legally destroy previously protected habitat.
For every Republican targeted in the league's Dirty Dozen, there are two
Democrats easily as bad. As for the league's ecstasies about, the vice
president, we should remember that the person supervising the appalling
performances of the past four years has been Gore. The appointments were his,
and his is the fundamental philosophy: negotiated retreats in the face of
pressure and a relinquishment of efforts to prevent pollution, which is now
to be "managed" through market forces" and technological fixes.