Ralph Nader on Environment
2004 Reform nominee; 2000 Green Candidate for President
Charge agribusiness for water; stop charging more to people
Q. A number of farmers in this area feel too much water has gone to help the environmental cause.
A. California agribusiness has gotten a free ride with dirt-cheap water for too long. They’re not paying the adequate price for that water. And if they
start paying an adequate price, they will use the water more efficiently and the public will get a return. The cities have to pay far more for water than agribusiness. The difference is staggering . because of the lobbying power of big growers.
Source: John Ellis, The Fresno (CA) Bee
Oct 22, 2000
Mining companies get free mines for campaign contributions
The 1872 Mining Act is a relic of efforts to settle the West. It allows mining companies to claim federal lands for $5 an acre and then take gold, silver, lead, or other hard-rock minerals with no royalty payments to the federal treasury. Thanks to the
1872 Mining Act, mining companies-including foreign companies-extract billions of dollars worth of minerals a year from federal lands, royalty-free.
Legislative efforts to repeal or reform the mining giveaway regularly fail, blocked by senators from
western states. These senators are not standing up for their states’ best economic interests; the giveaway mines create few jobs and massive environmental problems with high economic costs in foregone tourist and recreational revenues and uses. The
senators are standing up for the mine companies, which pour millions in campaign contributions into the Congress. From 1987 to 1994, the mining companies gave $17 million to congressional candidates; and extracted $26 billion worth of minerals.
Source: Cutting Corporate Welfare, p. 18-19
Oct 9, 2000
Highway pork leads to sprawl, air pollution, global warming
The federal highway bills are another major source of pork. Last year’s Transportation Equity Act, will allocate billions of dollars to new road construction, much of it unnecessary and harmful. Instead of supporting modern mass transportation, Congress
continues to surrender to the demands of road construction interests and the highway lobby. The harmful consequences include sprawl, air pollution, and contributions to global warming.
Source: Cutting Corporate Welfare, p.110
Oct 9, 2000
End all commercial logging in National Forests
I advocate the immediate cessation of commercial logging on US public lands and the protection from road-building of all 60 million acres of large forest tracts remaining in the National Forest system. National Forests produce less than 5% of total
volume of timber consumed in the US. I would veto all bills that might include provisions to dismantle any aspect of this National Forest protection policy. I consider it crucial to pursue public and legislative support for such a plan to endure.
Source: Ralph Nader’s letter to the Sierra Club
Jul 24, 2000
Head off a genetic engineering rampage
There are massive numbers of issues that are very important that the two parties are blocking, such as significant arms control, control of devastating environmental contamination, heading off a rampaging genetic engineering industry that is far ahead of
the science that should be its governing discipline, not to mention poverty, avoidable disease, illiteracy, collapsing infrastructure, corporate welfare, distortions of public budgets, etc.
Source: Alternative Radio interview with David Barsamian
Feb 23, 2000
Protect whistleblowers on health, safety, & pollution
Effective legal protections are needed for ethical whistleblowers who alert Americans to abuses or hazards to health and safety in the workplace, or contaminate the environment, or defraud citizens. Such
conscientious workers need rights to ensure they will not be fired or demoted for speaking out within the corporations, the government, or in other bureaucracies.
Source: The Concord Principles, An Agenda for a New Democracy, # 7
Feb 21, 2000
Corporate collectivism leads toward ecological disaster
The absence of political vigilance toward the onrush of corporate collectivism is fraught with danger to a democratic society. This is the case, no matter how affluent that society has become in the aggregate, because of the gaping injustices affecting
minority groups and majority public services. Indeed, the very productiveness of our economic system has led to vast new problems, centering, for example, on the pell-mell contamination of soil, air, and water that is taking us toward ecological disaster
Source: VoteNader.com, “Corporate Power”
Feb 21, 2000
More funds to maintain National Park system
As a society we have failed to respect the foresight of Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir and other conservationist founders of the national park system, neglecting to invest sufficient resources to maintain, let alone properly expand, the parks. A National
Park Service-estimated funding gap of nearly $9 billion has left animal populations at risk, park amenities in substandard or unusable conditions and many national historical artifacts in danger of being lost to posterity.
Source: Article, “Perspectives On Federal Spending”
Jul 27, 1999
National corporate charters for environmental bankruptcy
Q: [Would you support] a national corporate law that could specify an entirely different corporation built around a principle that would have social welfare, human, and ecological criteria as opposed to the mere return on investment which
corporations have today?
A: If we had a national charter, we could say for example that in addition to a corporation going into bankruptcy for not paying its creditors, it can go into environmental bankruptcy for contaminating and poisoning
the community in which it’s in through pollution. And if it does go into bankruptcy, that doesn’t mean the company closes down and unemploys the workers, it means that the leadership changes. It means that there’s a trustee in the environmental
bankruptcy appointed by a judge, a new board of directors, and a new ethic to not inflict pollution violence on thousands or millions of innocent people -- whether for air or water or food contamination.
Source: Interview by Jerry Brown on “We The People” Radio
Mar 20, 1996