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Environment

Agenda

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Read Al Gore's accomplishments with this issue.

"For me, a commitment to the environment has always run deeper than politics. We have to do what's right for our environment, because it involves all of our lives - from the simple security of knowing that our drinking water is safe, to the more ominous thinning of the ice caps at the top of the Earth." - Al Gore

As author of the critically-acclaimed Earth in the Balance, Al Gore has made the environment his signature issue. He has challenged America to make the next ten years the Environmental Decade - making unprecedented progress in cleaning our air, water and soil; cracking down on polluters; developing cleaner sources of energy and curbing the risk of global climate change; protecting our forests, rivers, public lands, and wildlife; and encouraging smarter growth and livable communities. Al Gore is proposing a new Energy Security and Environment Trust - a bold and unprecedented commitment to achieve an even more prosperous economy, powered by cleaner, more reliable energy, in a healthy, truly livable environment. He knows that choosing between the economy and the environment is a false choice - in the long run, we can never have one without the other.

CURTAILING GLOBAL WARMING AND ENSURING CLEAN AIR

  • Energy Security and Environmental Trust Fund. This new $150 billion fund will help to create a cleaner environment by providing tax breaks and other financial incentives for clean and reliable sources of electricity; long-term energy solutions to reduce our reliance on imported oil; and new energy-efficient transportation technologies. The Trust Fund will also offer American consumers tax breaks and other incentives to purchase energy-efficient cars, SUVs, trucks, homes, appliances, and other products.

  • Ratify the Kyoto Protocol, the climate change treaty Al Gore helped negotiate.

  • Support new technologies to curtail climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Continue to fight for strong environmental standards to reduce soot and smog levels, which were challenged by industry and are now before the Supreme Court.

  • Protect the ozone layer by continuing the phase out and transition away from ozone-depleting chemicals.

PRESERVING OUR PUBLIC LANDS AND NATIONAL TREASURES

  • Build on a strong record of preservation for open spaces and protection for natural treasures.

  • Support full funding for our National Parks.

  • Stop commercial exploitation of environmentally sensitive land, including the Arctic Refuge and oil and gas drilling off the coasts of Florida and California.

  • Expand wilderness areas and national monument designations in sensitive federal areas that are now underprotected.

  • Protect our forests (including old growth forests and ancient groves) by supporting the current moratorium on roadbuilding in 43 million acres of national forests and expanding the proposal to ban new timber sales in the original areas as well as Alaska's Tongass.

  • Protect wildlife by enforcing the Endangered Species Act, while enlisting the participation of private landowners in habitat protection measures under the ESA.

  • Promote sustainable, balanced commercial use of our vast system of public lands.

  • Identify areas threatened by oil, gas and mineral development and which deserve heightened protection.

  • Protect and preserve the Florida Everglades and other valuable natural resources of South Florida.

  • Support reform of the Mining Act of 1872, which allows gold and other hard rock minerals on public lands to be mined for $2.50 or $5 per acre.

PROMOTING SMART GROWTH AND LIVABLE COMMUNITIES

  • Keep America Moving Initiative, which provides additional federal grants to build, extend and modernize light rail, subway and other mass transit systems.

  • Create Better America Bonds to preserve open spaces and clean up brownfields.

ENSURING CLEAN, SAFE WATER

  • As a Congressman and as a Senator, Gore voted for clean water legislation and supported funding for the federal clean water program. As President, Al Gore will seek to strengthen - and will continue to fight attempts to weaken - the Clean Water Act. Al Gore will increase funding for clean water programs, tighten standards, and ensure a more comprehensive watershed approach to improve water quality.

PROMOTING CONSERVATION AND ENVIRONMENTALLY-SOUND AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES

  • Al Gore will continue to fight for increased funding for incentives to farmers who voluntarily adopt comprehensive plans to curb erosion and protect water supplies from pesticide and nutrient runoff, and to expand the Conservation Reserve Program that establishes protective buffer strips along waterways and to assist farmers with conservation and environmental efforts. In addition, Gore supports expanding the current estate tax deduction for landowners who transfer properties near cities, parks, or wilderness areas to conservation uses.

SAFEGUARDING OUR OCEANS AND COASTS

  • Al Gore will fight to expand the moratorium on oil and gas drilling off the coasts of Florida and California - making sure that no new drilling takes place in these sensitive areas. As President, Gore will uphold the moratorium on new offshore leasing through 2012 and continue the ban on new leasing in existing national marine sanctuaries. Gore also believes that we must rebuild declining fisheries and require that all fisheries be managed in a sustainable manner to prevent over-fishing. And Gore supports the international ban on commercial whaling in the International Whaling Commission (IWC).

PROTECTING OUR PEOPLE FROM INDUSTRIAL AND TOXIC WASTE

  • Make the "brownfields" tax incentive permanent.

  • Support Superfund cleanup of the worst environmental problems in the country.

  • Further strengthen the standards that give people the Right to Know about toxic releases in their neighborhoods, and explore the application of Right to Know to the activities of US companies operating abroad.

GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOODS

  • As with any new technology, Al Gore believes we must carefully weigh the risks and benefits of genetically modified organisms, particularly with respect to food safety and potential environmental impacts. Gore supports the Administration's initiative, announced in May 2000, under which it will work with stakeholders to create reliable testing procedures and quality assurance programs for differentiating non-bioengineered commodities to better meet the needs of the market.

INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND THE ENVIRONMENT

  • As President, Al Gore will continue to advocate reforms of the WTO and new international measures to protect the global environment. Al Gore believes trade negotiations should include both labor and environmental components in the fabric of trade agreements. As President, Gore will insist on the authority to enforce workers' rights and environmental protections in those agreements.

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