Earth '06 An Election Guide


(Because the planet really is in the balance)




What's the conventional wisdom about congressional midterm elections? That with rare exceptions—such as 1994, when the GOP seized control of Congress for the first time in 40 years—midterms don’t matter much, largely because voters don’t turn out in large numbers when they’re not voting for President. This year, you can throw that conventional wisdom out the window. These elections could rock the electoral landscape.

With Americans displeased with President Bush—only about 40 percent of the public approves of his job performance—and increasingly concerned about the direction of the country, the 2006 midterms could well be the most traumatic for incumbents since Newt Gingrich stormed the Capitol twelve years ago. And for the environment, the stakes are high; the Bush-Cheney environmental record has been, in a word, awful.

To help you prepare for November 7th, Plenty presents this guide to the issues and candidates that matter most for green voters. Since six years is a long time, there’s also a chronology of Bush’s environmental record. And to show that environmentalism doesn’t have to be a partisan passion, we sat down to speak with retiring congressman Sherwood Boehlert, one of the environment’s fiercest advocates—who just happens to be a Republican. Because the more you know, the greener you’ll vote.

FROM CONNECTICUT TO CALIFORNIA, HERE ARE THE ELECTION RACES THAT MATTER THE MOST
BY CARMEN JOHNSON

California 11th Congressional District
JERRY MCNERNEY (D) VS. REP. RICHARD POMBO (R)
Is the House’s biggest environmental menace endangered?
The Sierra Club, the League of Conservation Voters, and the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund are spending some $3 million to take down the man they consider Congress’s greatest threat to the environment: Congressman Richard Pombo. The seven-term representative from Tracy, California, is the chairman of the House Resources Committee and is moving up the ladder on the Agriculture Committee. Pombo, a rancher known for his uncompromising prodevelopment stands, pushed through the House legislation to end the offshore oil-drilling ban and wants to make mining on public lands easier. But he may be best known for weakening the Endangered Species Act of 1973 by softening restrictions on “critical habitat” land for threatened or endangered species. Pombo’s opponent, wind-energy engineer and Democrat Jerry McNerney, promises to push for investment in solar and wind energy. In a district with high rates of asthma, McNerney is also campaigning for stricter clean-air and clean-water legislation. If Pombo goes, enviros will breathe easier.

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Issue 25



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