ENVIRONMENTAL ZEROES AND HEROES OF THE 104TH CONGRESS
All eyes are on the presidential contenders in the coming election, which is
too bad, because (Bill Clinton being a jellyfish) it makes less difference who
sits in the White House than which party dominates Congress. One of the vital
matters hanging on that difference is the environment.
The starkness of the contrast between the two parties is revealed by a report
on last year's Congress just put out by the League of Conservation Voters. The
first Congress in decades with Republican majorities in both houses could not
be assessed by its pro-environment votes, because it created NO pro-environment
measures to vote on. Rather, there was a steady stream of attempts to tear
down environmental laws. The LCV could rate members only by the extent to
which they refused to go along with the pillaging and sacking.
By this standard, about one-fourth of the members -- 111 in the House and 24 in
the Senate -- achieved an LCV rating of zero -- a perfect anti-environmental
record. Earning a zero, meant, for example, voting to roll back safeguards on
drinking water; to take away peoples' right to know what toxics are emitted by
factories in their neighborhoods; to stop listing endangered species; to sell
off public lands; to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; to
subsidize the next generation of nuclear reactors; to give away rights to
minerals on public lands; to stop funding international family planning
programs; and to slash the budget of the EPA, so it can't enforce whatever
environmental laws do remain on the books.
Every one of the environmental zeroes was a Republican. Here are the 24
Senators who earned that rating: Ashcroft (MO), Bennett (UT), Bond (MO), Burns
(MT), Cochran (MS), Craig (ID), Dole (KS), Faircloth (NC), Frist (TN), Gorton
(WA), Grams (MN), Hatch (UT), Helms (NC), Hutchison (TX), Kempthorne (ID), Kyl
(AZ), Lott (MS), McConnell (KY), Murkowski (AK), Packwood (OR), Pressler (SD),
Santorum (PA), Shelby (AL), Thurmond (SC).
I hope you spotted the name Dole there in the middle. It does make SOME
difference who's president!
There are also heroes on the LCV list, almost as many as zeroes. Twenty three
Senators voted against every environmental attack and earned ratings of 100.
They are all Democrats: Biden (DE), Boxer (CA), Bumpers (AR), Daschle (SD),
Dodd (CT), Feingold (WI), Glenn (OH), Graham (FL), Kennedy (MA), Kerry (MA),
Kohl (WI), Lautenberg (NJ), Leahy (VT), Levin (MI), Liebermann (CT), Moynihan
(NY), Murray (WA), Pryor (AR), Robb (VA), Rockefeller (WV), Sarbanes (MD),
Simon (IL), Wellstone (MN).
That was the Senate. There isn't enough space here to list the 111 zeroes and
62 heroes in the House, but if you'd like the list, call the League of
Conservation Voters (202-785-8683) or zoom on the Web to http://www.lcv.org.
Senate Democrats averaged 89 on the LCV list, while Republicans scored 11. In
the House the Democrats averaged 76, Republicans 15. The infamous 73 freshman
House Republicans started out voting as a block for every environmental
desecration, but some couldn't stomach it for long. Eight of them declined to
weaken the Clean Water Act, and by last fall, when the nastiest
anti-environmental riders were going through, 13 of the freshmen voted for the
environment every time. (36 voted against every time.)
Partial heroes were Republicans who defied their party often enough to
accumulate fair pro-environment records. In the Senate they included Chafee
(RI) with a rating of 57, Cohen (ME) 71, Jeffords (VT) 64, Snowe (ME) 64. In
the House Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (NY) managed to organize as many as 60
Republican votes for the environment.
So voting Republican isn't necessarily a vote for dirty air and dirty water; it
depends on whether you have a "conservation conservative" to vote for. But
insofar as you help either house retain its Republican majority, you are
handing power to a party whose hostility to the environment and contempt for
the intelligence of the voters is deeply disturbing. The best way I know to
demonstrate that claim is to quote from the "Pro-Active, Pro-Environment
Agenda" circulated by the House Republican leadership last October.
"As we all know, the environmentalist lobby and their extremist friends in the
eco-terrorist underworld have been working overtime to define Republicans ...
as anti-environment, pro-polluter, and hostile to the survival of every cuddly
critter roaming God's green earth.... There are very real and very effective
steps you can take in your districts to .. insulate yourself from the attacks
of the green extremists."
he recommended steps include tree planting ("consider contacting local
nurseries who may donate trees for the cause"), speaking at Earth Day
activities, recycling in the office, cleaning up a piece of highway ("have
plenty of supporters on cite [sic] at the press conference"), and visiting a
"The next time Bruce Babbit [sic] comes to your district and canoes down a
river ... to tell the press how anti-environment their congressman is, if
reporters have been to your boss' adopt-a-highway clean-up, two of his tree
plantings, and his Congressional Task Force on Conservation hearings, they'll
just laugh Babbit back to Washington."
Then you can go ahead and trash the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species
Act, and the EPA -- until your constituents decide that the air and the water
matter to them and that you shouldn't be returned to office.
(Donella H. Meadows is an adjunct professor of environmental studies at
Kedves Mindenki es Lukacs Attila!
Egyszer mar megigertem, hogy nem bantom tovabb L.A.-t.
Megprobalom betartani, de csak akkor sikerul, ha nem ir olyan
egbekialto hulyesegeket (bocsass meg, Diana), mint most is. Ettol
mar felni is kezdek. Aki ilyeneket mer leirni, az ...... (oncenzura).
En mindenesetre elore jelzem, hogy nem kerek az
energiafelhasznalas nelkuli vilagbol. Ha L.A. elvei gyoznek, akkor
kivandorlo utlevelet kerek egy masik vilagba. Se feny, se ruha, se
lakas stb. (sot, se sor, se fott kaja! na nem, ez nem az en vilagom!)
Greenpeace: az o zsebukben nem fekszenek dollarmilliok? Uzleti
vallalkozasaikbol nincs jovedelmuk? Mibol fizetik a bertuntetoket?
Mennyi kart okoztak mar? Egy bocsanatkeressel el lehet azt intezni
>merhetetlen sok galadsag, torvenytelenseg, baleset, katasztrofa,
Attila! Vetted mar magadnak egyszer a faradtsagot, hogy
osszehasonlitsd a "merhetetlen"-t (persze a balesetrol beszelek,
nem a "galadsag"-rol!) mas iparagakkal, gazdasagi teruletekkel? Nem
feltetlenul csak a szen- vagy olajbanyaszatra, vegyiparra vagy a
kozlekedesre gondolok, hanem pl. a textiliparra, elelmiszeriparra stb.
Ezekben a bekes iparagakban nem volt eddig is tobb "galadsag,
torvenytelenseg, baleset, katasztrofa, stb", mint az atomenergia-ipar
civil szektoraban? (A hadirol nincs informaciom, a CIA meg nem all
Es honnan tanultad, hogy "elpusztulunk vagy tulelunk" alternativa all
elottunk? Ezt kijelented vagy erveid is vannak?
Udv Gacs Ivan
(de ha ugy gondolod kozolheted is)
Ha tul szemelyeskedonek erzed, hagyd ki az elso bekezdest.
Egyebkent en csak kerdeztem.