A Career Spent Fighting for Conservation

Throughout my career in public service, I have been fighting for conservation because I understand the importance of protecting our most valuable natural resources. I have been honored to be recognized as an Environmental Leader of the Year by the National Environmental Trust, the National Wildlife Federation, and Vanity Fair magazine for our work in New Mexico. The very first piece of legislation I passed as a young Congressman was to protect and create a new wilderness area in northwestern New Mexico. As President, I will do even more to protect our environment, just like we did in New Mexico.

Restore the Clean Water Act

We must protect our rivers, lakes, and streams. As the governor of an arid Southwestern state I know that water is our most precious natural resource. The Clean Water Act is the primary vehicle for preserving America’s rivers, lakes, and streams and it must be restored.

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Revive Clean Air Act Standards and Help States Enforce Them

We must fund federal programs and states to identify violations of the Clean Air Act by industrial facilities. We should also expand the Clean Air Act to include protections from old and dirty power plants and provide incentives for the use of cleaner fuels. We must stop attempts by the Bush administration to weaken controls on toxic mercury pollution and I strongly oppose Bush Administration policies allowing old coal plants to renovate without upgrading pollution controls.

Expand Disclosure of Toxic Pollution

The public’s right to know about toxic pollution must be restored by reversing the EPA’s lax position on corporate reporting. Polluting facilities must report on the release of toxic chemicals at least once a year.

Preserve and Protect our National Parks

Our National Parks represent some of our greatest national treasures. We must ensure that they are there for generations to come. Every American should be able to experience our nations’ natural beauty and enjoy the recreational opportunities they afford.

Protect and Enforce the Endangered Species Act

Accurate scientific data must be used in assessing Endangered Species Act issues and ensure that corporations and other special interests adhere to the law when challenging ESA. We must find the right balance between preservation and growth, but to do so we must first have accurate data and compliance with the law.

Establish Smart Growth Criteria for Preferences in Federal/State Funding

Give preference to funding for sites that comply with Smart Growth guidelines.

Prohibit Thinning of National Forests in Roadless Areas

I oppose new road building in our pristine national forests. Their ecological, recreational and riparian values are far greater than anything a logging company could gain from their timber. Under certain circumstances, the lumber industry can and should thin and harvest trees in roaded areas near communities, so long as they also clear the undergrowth that feeds wildfires.

Encourage States with Low-Recycling Rates to Increase Their Recycling by Linking State Funding to Improvements

Recycling rates vary greatly across states and regions, ranging from a high of 30-50% in some states to a low of less than 5% in others. As we did with the interstate highway system and national speed limits, we should encourage a national recycling system by making federal funding contingent on participation. This will help create a national market for recyclables as well as a new industry and jobs on the process.

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