The 2000 Presidential Election

             The 2000 Election will impact environmental programs in the United States.  Al Gore has written a book, “Earth in the Balance”, in which he identifies environmental protection as the number one governing priority for public policy.  His book lists governmental efforts including controls aimed at population control and emission reductions world wide.  Thus a Gore Administration likely would bring added emphasis on environmental controls, alternative fuels, pollution prevention and international treaties and rules that have environmental requirements.

             George W. Bush is committed to progress and environmental protection, but he has emphasized that federal environmental control programs cannot effectively be imposed nationally in a uniform “command and control” structure.  Environmental protection needs to be an effort that enlists cooperation of states, local government and the business and consumer communities.  He agrees with the consensus of the U.S. Senate, that the current “Kyoto Treaty” on global warming (which Gore favors) is unrealistic, unnecessarily costly and unfair to American interests.

             The scrutiny paid to Governor Bush's record in Texas and the emphasis of Vice President Gore on environment as top priority probably augur renewed attention to environmental programs in the United States during the next four years, irrespective of which is finally certified as elected.  The split in Congress means that once again any major environmental legislation will likely require votes from both sides of the political aisle.