There's nothing ambiguous about this election. The Bush-Cheney administration has taken every opportunity to hobble protection of America's natural resources and to sell those resources at a steep discount to the energy, mining, and automobile industries. The administration has:
- made protection of sensitive habitat under the Endangered Species Act effectively voluntary.
- weakened protection against mercury contamination of drinking water.
- de-funded family-planning programs of the United Nations.
- worked to remove effective regulation of road-building in national forests.
- refused to fully implement regulations that require monitoring of environmental health in poor communities.
- proposed de-funding public transportation in favor of increasing America's reliance on automobiles.
- worked to weaken the public-participation process for new transportation and anti-spawl planning.
- repeatedly tried to weaken or nullify regulation of air pollution, from sidestepping the 1987 Montreal Protocol (which Ronald Reagan signed) to simply exempting or refusing to investigate pollution by manufacturers and power plants.
John Kerry has spent his career working to protect the environment. Kerry supported a bill to force companies to pay for the Superfund sites they create. Kerry led the fight to keep oil drills out of ANWR. Kerry worked to maintain strict standards for clean air and clean water. Kerry supports government efforts to promote energy conservation and renewable-energy research. And Kerry has worked to take America to a leadership position in the global effort to reduce greenhouse emissions, preserve biodiversity, and move economic development closer to sustainability. In general, John Kerry supports pragmatic -- often community-based -- solutions to complex environmental problems, with the health and safety of the public always given top priority.
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