The Presidential Candidates Environmental Report Card on George W. Bush and Al Gore

MOTHER EARTH NEWS provides a environmental report card on George W. Bush and Al Gore for the upcoming 2000 presidential candidate.
April/May 2000
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MOTHER has compiled an environmental report card for the primary party candidates.

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Which presidential candidates are best on environmental issues? Find out with MOTHER's environmental report card on George W. Bush and Al Gore. 

The grades are in. Anticipating the presidential election in November, MOTHER EARTH NEWS has compiled an environmental report card for the primary party candidates. AI Gore performs well in some areas but shows room for improvement, while George W. Bush 's marks, particularly for his voting record on air quality, suggest its high time he hit the books. 

—Peter Carter 

Al Gore


Worked for new air quality controls as a senator and endorses tougher vehicle emission standards and phase-out of older polluting power plants. He has backed away though from putting pressure on Detroit emissions standards.


Helped to prevent oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge while in Congress, and worked with President Clinton to secure funding for land acquisition and restoration in the Florida Everglades.


As a House representative serving on the Energy Commerce Committee, supported ecosystem preservation, including clean water legislation.


Gore advocates strengthening the Endangered Species Wildlife Act and continues to help expand wetland acreage.


Was integral in launching the "million rooftops" solar program in 1998. Very little but lip service since, though.

George W. Bush


Texas industrial plants rank first in the country in toxic air emissions. Joined the legislature in overturning existing vehicle emissions testing in favor of a decentralized system that is easier to evade. Houston surpassed Los Angeles in 1999 as the city with the worst air quality in the country.


Under Bush, Texas state parks acquired no new lands and what spending there was for land went to conservation on private rather than public property.


Water quality in Texas has declined during Bush's terms as Governor, and although he successfully proposed funding to monitor and lower water pollution levels, the programs have not been followed and remain inconsequential.


On multiple occasions Bush fought against the Endangered Species Act, saying that conservation is realistic only when "economic and social costs are not too high." He attempted to eliminate an existing coastal and wetlands protection plan.


No initiatives of consequence.

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