Sierra Club: The Planet--1996
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The Planet
Key to Environmental Protection:
Hiring the Right Legislators

Ah, the 104th Congress. Could there be a more environmentally hostile group of 535 men and women anywhere on the planet? Impossible, you say? Not at all. At this very moment, in fact, the folks who brought you the Gingrich-Dole Congress in 1994 are gearing up for the second act - during which, they hope, the anti-environmental juggernaut launched two years ago will roll to victory. The sponsors of the War on the Environment can count votes as well as anyone, and they know how tantalizingly close they came to drilling the Arctic Refuge, developing the Utah wilderness, crippling the Clean Water Act, dismantling the National Parks System, repealing the Endangered Species Act, revoking wetlands protections, and on and on and on. Just a few more "ayes" and they would have had it ....

Those same corporate special interests will be back with a vengeance this year, spending as much as it takes to move from free rein on Capitol Hill - something they achieved in 1994, when they began rewriting environmental laws to suit their own selfish needs - to sovereignty over America's air, water and wilds. For environmentalists, the problem is simple: How do we move from blocking the polluters' agenda - something we achieved, but barely, in the 104th Congress - to getting on with the job of protecting America's environment for generations to come?

The six candidates here are a good place to start. They're among our most dependable champions in Congress, which means two things: (1) we desperately need to keep them in Washington, and (2) their opponents will be rolling in contributions from corporate PACs hoping to finish the destruction begun by the 104th Congress. January's Senate race in Oregon - in which then-Rep. Ron Wyden won with the backing of the Sierra Club - demonstrated how the right message can win out over big money. Unfortunately, it does take money to convey that message effectively. To help the green candidates below get their messages out to the voters in 1996, please send a check to the addresses listed. It's the only way to halt the anti-environmental juggernaut once and for all, and resume a quarter-century of progress toward a clean, safe, healthy planet - for our families, for our future.


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