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Dennis Kucinich on Environment

Democratic Representative (OH-10)


Katrina response underscores what’s wrong about race

Q: Would you support a federal law guaranteeing the right to return to New Orleans and other Gulf regions devastated by Hurricane Katrina?

KUCINICH: Absolutely. The aftermath underscores everything that’s wrong in this country about race. New Orleans wouldn’t have happened if the government had been more sensitive to make sure that those levees had been repaired when they were told they were supposed to be repaired. They should also be guaranteed jobs. People in New Orleans aren’t getting jobs. They’re hiring people from outside.

CLINTON: I have proposed a 10-point Gulf Coast Recovery Agenda, because even if we were to give people a right, there is nothing to return to.

EDWARDS: This is an issue I care about personally and deeply.

OBAMA: Halliburton or Bechtel getting the contracts to rebuild instead of giving the people in New Orleans the opportunity to rebuild and get jobs and training is a further compounding of the outrage.

Source: 2007 Democratic Primary Debate at Howard University Jun 28, 2007

Scored 100% on Humane Society Scorecard on animal protection

Source: Humane Society 109th Congress Scorecard, www.fund.org Jan 31, 2007

Water should forever be in the public domain

All water shall be considered to be forever in the public domain. It shall be the duty of each nation to provide accessible, affordable drinking water to its peoples. There shall be public ownership of drinking water systems, subject to municipal control Wealthy nations shall provide poor nations with the means to obtain water for survival. Water shall be protected from commodification and exempted from all trade agreements. Water privatization shall not be a condition of debt restructuring, loan renewal or loan forgiveness. Governments shall use their powers to prevent private aggregation of water rights. Water shall be conserved through sustainable agriculture and encouraging plant-based diets. Water resources shall be protected from pollution. Our children should be educated about the essential nature of water for maintaining life.
Source: Campaign website, www.Kucinich.us, “On The Issues” Aug 1, 2003

Bush’s wetland rules would increase flooding

Overdevelopment of wetlands, which would accelerate under proposed Bush Administration rule changes, destroys nature’s natural pollution filters and increases flooding.
Source: Campaign website, www.Kucinich.us, “On The Issues” Aug 1, 2003

Clean, safe water is a human right

Make clean, healthy water a right for all, strengthening air and water protections. Regulation and enforcement against polluters will be increased, while environmentally responsible farmers and businesses will be rewarded and will work to stop privatization of drinking water and sewer systems, will make a major investment in water system infrastructure, and will make a significant financial commitment to providing healthy drinking water to all the world’s people.
Source: Campaign website, www.Kucinich.us, “On The Issues” Aug 1, 2003

A clean environment is not a luxury

As President, I will lead the way in protecting our oceans, rivers and rural environments. I will also lead in fighting for clean, affordable and accessible drinking water. I have worked hand-in-hand with the environmental movement on many battles, from thwarting a nuclear waste dump to boosting organics to demanding labels on genetically-engineered products. A clean environment, a sustainable economy, and an intact ozone layer are not luxuries, but necessities for our planet’s future.
Source: Campaign website, www.Kucinich.us, “On The Issues” Aug 1, 2003

Market-based system has no place in water distribution

Market economics need to be transformed so as to work in harmony with basic human needs for clean air and clean water. market-based systems which inevitably exclude the poor have no place in the distribution of water. Water is a human right which must stand above market economics and privatization, just as many are learning of the risks of health care and energy left to the market.
Source: Speech at UN World Summit, in Prayer for America, p. 40 Aug 29, 2002

Water Marks: 10 principles for water protection

[I would] recommend a series of declarative sentences which can serve as the basis for a course of action. We shall call these ten principles “Water Marks.”
  1. All water shall be considered to be forever in the public domain.
  2. It shall be the duty of each nation to provide accessible, affordable drinking water.
  3. There shall be public ownership of drinking water.
  4. Wealthy nations shall provide poor nations with the means to obtain water for survival.
  5. Water shall be protected from commodification and exempted from all trade agreements.
  6. Water privatization shall not be a condition of debt restructuring, loan renewal, or loan forgiveness.
  7. Governments shall use their powers to prevent private aggregation of water rights.
  8. Water shall be conserved through sustainable agriculture and encouraging plant-based diets.
  9. Water resources shall be protected from pollution.
  10. Our children shall be educated about the essential nature of water for maintaining life.
Source: Intl. Water Rights Conf., in Prayer for America, p.115-16 Jul 7, 2001

Voted YES on $2 billion more for Cash for Clunkers program.

Congressional Summary:Emergency supplemental appropriations of $2 billion for the Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save (CARS) Program.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. OBEY (D, WI-7): The cash for clunkers program has proven even more wildly popular than its strongest supporters had predicted. Just last month, Congress passed the program, which provided up to $4,500 if you trade in your old gas guzzler for a new car that gets better mileage. That was done in the hopes of spurring some new car sales and encouraging people to be a little more environmentally friendly. We provided $1 billion in the supplemental to get it going, enough for about 250,000 sales--which was just about exhausted in one week. This bill transfers $2 billion from the Department of Energy's Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee program, which doesn't expect to award funding until late next year.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. LEWIS (R, CA-41): In the majority's haste to slam legislation with no time for consideration or amendments, we are now seeing the effects of such shortsighted martial law tactics.

Senator Feinstein tried to negotiate some changes to improve the program but was told that it was this way or the highway. Not one hearing on the Cash for Clunkers program, not one hearing on how the first billion dollars has been spent, not one hearing on how much money the program will need to get through the fiscal year.

Many of my colleagues will say, This is a great program, and it is necessary for the revitalization of the car industry. I'm not really going to argue with those goals. However, are we sure this program is working like it's supposed to? I don't think so. This program has only been up and running 1 week. If that is how the government is going to handle billion-dollar programs affecting all Americans, I ask, Whatever will we do if the administration takes control of our health care system?

Reference: Cash for Clunkers bill; Bill H.R. 3435 ; vote number 2009-H682 on Jul 31, 2009

Voted YES on protecting free-roaming horses and burros.

Congressional Summary:
  1. Ensure that acreage available for wild and free-roaming horses and burros is at least equal to the acreage where they were found in 1971
  2. update the inventory of such horses and burros annually
  3. maintain a thriving natural ecological balance on lands where such horses and burros are found
  4. establish sanctuaries for such horses and burros
  5. research and implement enhanced fertility control for mares & stallions.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. NICK RAHALL (D, WV-3): Earlier this year, the BLM made a truly shocking announcement. This Federal agency announced future plans to destroy, i.e., slaughter, 30,000 healthy wild horses and burros entrusted to their care by the American people. How in the world can a Federal agency be considering massive slaughter of animals the law says they are supposed to be protecting? The bill before us gives the agency as many options as possible to avoid destroying these animals.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. DOC HASTINGS (R, WA-4): Across our Nation, Americans are struggling to pay their bills; 9.5% of Americans are out of work. With this backdrop, what is the response of this Democrat Congress to record unemployment and skyrocketing deficits? Their response is to create a $700 million welfare program for wild horses and burros. If the American people want an illustration of just how out of touch this Congress has become on spending, they need to look no further. In the last Congress, the House passed legislation to ban the commercial slaughter of wild horses and burros, that cost taxpayers less than $500,000 a year. Now we're looking at a bill that, again, bans slaughter of these animals but then proceeds to spend $700 million to create a new welfare program for wild horses. Republicans are focused on creating the jobs in this country, but this Democrat Congress seems to be more worried about wild burros and wild horses.

Reference: Restore Our American Mustangs Act; Bill H.R.1018 ; vote number 2009-H577 on Jul 17, 2009

Voted YES on environmental education grants for outdoor experiences.

Congressional Summary:

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Rep. JOHN SARBANES (D, MD-3): This bill creates a new National Capacity Environmental Education grant program for which education associations apply competitively for grants that would fund model programs that get children into nature and really have them experiencing the environment.

Rep. BUCK McKEON (R, CA-25): This bill incorporates scientifically-based and technology-driven teaching methods into environmental education. Unfortunately, the new National Capacity Environmental Education Program is duplicative of the existing environmental education program already being run by the EPA. Still, I do not intend to oppose its passage.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. MICHELE BACHMANN (R, MN-6): H.R. 3036 continues our Nation down the ill-fated road of shifting control of school curricula away from the parents and teachers and local school boards who best know what their children need into the hands of Federal Government and its one-size-fits-all approach. To best serve our children's educational needs, local school boards need flexibility to target resources where they are needed most. The needs of individual school districts are not homogenous and are most certainly not best understood by bureaucrats in Washington. This bill represents a step in the wrong direction. Forcing local school districts to direct scarce resources away from core curricula to serve a political agenda will only further suppress the academic performance of America's next generation.

Reference: No Child Left Inside Act; Bill H.R.3036 ; vote number 2008-H614 on Sep 18, 2008

Voted YES on $9.7B for Amtrak improvements and operation thru 2013.

Congressional Summary: