The 1988 Presidential Candidates and Their Environmental Records

A look at the 1988 presidential candidates and their ecological perspectives, including Michael Dukakis, George H.W. Bush and their past environmental legislation and histories.

| November/December 1988

It's only one of many issues dividing 1988 presidential candidates George H.W. Bush and Michael Dukakis, but it's also an issue on which they've both tried to hang their hats. 

The 1988 Presidential Candidates and Their Environmental Records

ONE OF THE BIGGEST SURPRISES OF this year's presidential election has been the emphasis placed by both 1988 presidential candidates upon environmental concerns. Both Vice President Bush and Governor Dukakis have claimed the title "environmentalist." Therefore, though you, as voters, will have to weigh many other factors and issues before making your choice, we've reviewed the report researched by the League of Conservation Voters, a nonpartisan political action committee, and adapted it to provide this profile of the environmental records of the candidates.

1988 Presidential Candidate Michael Dukakis

Governor Dukakis has initiated and supported some excellent state environmental policies, including acid rain research, auto emission control programs, the creation of superfunding for hazardous waste cleanup, and the protection of farm land from development. His administration has also moved to monitor cancer-causing pesticides, opposed the Seabrook nuclear plant on the grounds of its unworkable evacuation plan and taken many steps to safeguard the New England coast.

Budget and appointments  

Dukakis has, observers claim, made some weak appointments to key environmental posts, has—especially during his second term—occasionally favored economic development over environmental causes and has sometimes been slow to implement existing legislation. His overall environmental record, however, is commendable.

Air pollution, climate, acid rain 

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