If you're trying to keep score at home, don't bother - the
League of Conservation Voters has been doing it for decades.
And it's not a pretty picture. According to the LCV, Bob
Dole averaged a 20 percent rating - that is, he voted for
the environment just once in every five opportunities -
during his quarter-century in the Senate. He topped
out at 49 percent in 1979-80, plummeting to just 5 percent
in the 103rd Congress, and hitting a perfect zero in 1995.
In addition to his votes against the environment, Dole has
been a leader in efforts to block public health and
environmental protection via regulatory reform and takings
- Was one of only 14 senators to support President Reagan's
veto of the Clean Water Act of 1987.
- Supported filibusters meant to block passage of the 1994
California Desert Protection Act.
- Has repeatedly voted to open the Arctic National Wildlife
Refuge to oil drilling.
- Voted in favor of all the anti-environment bills vetoed
by Clinton in the 104th Congress.
- Has been a reliable supporter of subsidies for the
nuclear power industry.
The Character Issue
Of course, that was then, this is now. Responding to
questionnaires as a presidential candidate - and in the wake
of what Gingrich has termed GOP "malpositioning" on green
issues - Dole says he supports common-sense protection of
the environment. But many of his specific claims do not hold
up to scrutiny. For example:
Claim: Dole says he is the only presidential candidate to
have voted in favor of the Clean Air Act and Clean Water
Fact: He voted to sustain Reagan's 1987 veto of the Clean
Claim: At Sen. Dole's insistence, the 1996 Farm Bill
provides $300 million for restoration of the Florida
Fact: Dole's takings and regulatory reform bills would
significantly reduce protection for Florida's wetlands.
Claim: In 1995, Bob Dole co-sponsored the Safe Drinking
Fact: This bill would have weakened protection from
contaminated drinking water, and was opposed by the Sierra
Claim: Sen. Dole supports Superfund reform that
focuses on the cleanup of hazardous waste sites.
Fact: In 1994, Dole was responsible for killing a compromise
that would have accomplished this goal, and at less cost
than the current program. The reform bill had bipartisan
support and endorsements from the Sierra Club and the
Chemical Manufacturers Association.
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