Gore pledges action on air, water and wilderness protection

US Presidential candidate, Al Gore, has reiterated his intention to protect US natural resources and wilderness areas, while remaining committed to economic growth.

If elected, Gore said he would oppose any weakening of federal protections for clean air and clean water, clean up air pollution from inefficient power stations (see related story), protect of roadless areas in US National Forests and oppose oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (see related story).

Gore has already said he will make the next ten years the ‘Environmental Decade,’ but has been careful to stress his commitment to economic growth.

“None of our children should have to worry whether the water they drink is pure or the air they breathe is clean,” Gore said. “We have proven, once and for all, that pollution does not have to be the price of prosperity. If Congress ever passes a measure that would unacceptably undermine our environment or weaken critical public health protections, I will veto it.”

Gore’s key pledges include:

  • the enforcement of air quality standards. Gore says he would work to clean up pollution from power stations and protect the Great Lakes from rain-borne pollution (see related story) with enforceable performance standards for power stations
  • oppose any Congressional actions designed to diminish protections for clean air and clean water. Gore points to the attachment of anti-environmental riders to spending bills and other legislation by the Republican-controlled Congress (see related story)
  • make it a priority to prevent development, new road-building or timber sales in the roadless areas of National Forests – including Alaska’s Tongass National Forest. The Forest Service would preserve these areas for wildlife and outdoor recreation – including fishing and

    hunting. Gore also said he would never agree to oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

  • take steps – not only in the US but also in developed and developing nations – to reverse the rise in global warming in a way that creates jobs. Gore said the global market for new energy technology is expected to reach trillions of dollars over the next two decades
  • improve the standard of living in neighbourhoods with measures enabling communities to protect open space and fight traffic congestion (see related story)
  • oppose all new oil and gas drilling off the coasts of California and Florida and continue the moratorium on new offshore drilling leases nationwide (see related story)

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