Howard Dean on Environment
Former VT Governor; Former Democratic Candidate for President
Deal with scientific reality; environment affects health
Is there a problem with the environment? Yes, there is. And we will not pretend there is not. We will address it in a way that’s both sensitive to jobs and sensitive to the needs of Americans to live without a rising rate of asthma in the inner cities;
the needs of Americans to have national park systems that work, and the needs of Americans to cooperate with other nations around the globe to reduce greenhouse gases -- which, in fact, are a real, scientific phenomenon.
Source: 2005 Take Back America Conference
, Jun 2, 2005
Dean’s first campaign in 1982 focused on bicycle paths
In 1982, Dean ran for a Vermont House seat. Dean’s platform consisted largely of his support for the Burlington bike path & his determination to protect the city’s waterfront from aggressive development. Although the issues primarily affected Burlington,
the bike path needed both federal & state funding to succeed. The issue, combined with Dean’s volunteer work at a low-income medical clinic, gave Dean broad appeal. Yuppies, who wanted the bike path, and low-income voters all liked him. He won easily.
Source: Citizen’s Guide to the Man Who Would be President, p. 64-65
, Oct 1, 2003
470,000 conservation acres, but many development deals too
A clear fault line runs down the center of Howard Dean's stewardship of Vermont's environment. On one side is his strong support for the purchase of wild land that might otherwise be subject to development; during his 11 years as governor, the state
bought more than 470,000 acres of such land---forest & bog land in the far northeast, parcels encompassing the hiking trails in the Green Mountains, sand plains on the shores of the island in Lake Champlain.
On the other side of the fault, however, is
Dean's record on the regulation of retail and industrial development. His critics charge that his preference for the interests of large business over environmental protection sapped the vitality from the state's regulatory apparatus, especially Act 250,
Vermont's historic development-control law, and from regulations pertaining to storm water runoff and water pollution. The result, they say, was unwise large-scale development and degraded water quality, particularly in the northwest part of the state.
Source: Citizen's Guide to the Man Who Would be President, p. 107-8
, Oct 1, 2003
Make trade-offs on environmental protection vs. development
One commentator notes: "He's the guy who wants to do things. That's where his friends on the green side will be surprised. He'll make tradeoffs. If they are expecting a perfectly green world--that's not Howard."
Dean's defenders say his deal-making
approach protected the environment more than would strict adherence to the letter of the development-control apparatus. And they criticize some members of the environmental community for not working more closely with the governor to achieve those results
As for the business community, many of its members have argued for years that the need for jobs and tax revenue should moderate the rigor with which environmental protection laws are applied, and in general they tend to range themselves against
the environmentalists. Nevertheless, some business people are also uneasy about weakening the regulatory process; governors, after all, can change, and a different governor could be hostile to development on principle.
Source: Citizen's Guide to the Man Who Would be President,p.88&107-8
, Oct 1, 2003
Free trade must include environmental standards
We can’t do free trade agreements any more without labor and environmental standards. That means we’ve got to stop other countries from being subsidized essentially by having lower environmental standards than we do. That is, if you go to a plant where
they can put their effluent in a stream without any treatment and the same product’s made in America and the company has to pay for treatment, clearly that’s a large subsidy for the company that’s in a third world country. That has to stop.
Source: DeanForAmerica.com website, “Trade Policy Q&A”
, Apr 15, 2003
No need to poison ourselves in order to have growth
We have to make practical trade offs. We need houses, jobs and opportunities for growth. But we don’t need to poison ourselves and our heritage in order to have growth.
The record of the Bush Administration on environmental matters is fatally flawed.
My own state is a victim of the President’s latest attempt to weaken the Clean Air rules. Vermont and many other Eastern states (even those run by Republican governors) are suing to require the federal government to enforce that act. We worry about
eating the fish we catch in our lakes because of mercury deposited by power plant emissions which should have been cleaned up long ago.
I believe we must not only enforce existing clean air and water standards, but strengthen them.
We must promote the use of renewable energy sources. We must conserve our wild and open spaces, strengthen our community centers to reduce sprawl, and do everything possible to ensure our natural environment isn’t a threat to public health.
Source: Campaign web site, DeanForAmerica.com, “On the Issues”
, Nov 30, 2002
Eliminate mercury releases by 2003.
Dean signed the New England Governors' Conference resolution:
Source: NEG/ECP Resolution 25-1: Mercury 00-NEGC1 on Sep 22, 2000
- WHEREAS, the Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers (NEG/ECP) is well on its way to meeting the 50% reduction goal outlined in its 1998 Mercury Action Plan before the target date of 2003, and that a sustained, coordinated effort continues to be necessary to achieve the ultimate goal of “virtual elimination of anthropogenic mercury” releases into the environment, including the identification of other potential sources of mercury releases and their appropriate controls; and.
- WHEREAS, the New England states each have freshwater fish consumption advisories and recent information suggests a parallel need for salt-water fish advisories for certain species of fish; and
- WHEREAS, success in keeping anthropogenic [from human sources] mercury out of the environment depends on ensuring that stockpiled and recovered mercury is retired from the market in a safe and permanent manner;
- NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the NEGC recommends that each state commit to working with their respective legislatures toward the goal of “virtual elimination” of anthropogenic mercury as expeditiously as feasible, and to evaluate new reduction targets beyond the 50% reduction by 2003 [and new targets for 2010]; and
- BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the NEGC make every effort to work constructively and efficiently with industry, EPA, and other state and federal agencies as needed to ensure that large quantities of stockpiled or recovered mercury are permanently retired in a manner that safely and securely avoids reintroduction of that mercury into the marketplace or, potentially, into the environment.
More state autonomy on brownfields & Superfund cleanups.
Dean adopted the National Governors Association position paper:
The IssueThe Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA), otherwise known as Superfund, was created to clean up the worst hazardous waste sites across the country and to recoup expenses from responsible parties. Since the law was enacted in 1980, the Superfund program has caused significant amounts of litigation, while cleanup of hazardous waste sites has not been as fast or effective as the statute envisioned. In addition, states have not had the necessary tools or funding from the federal government to adequately clean up state sites. “Brownfields” sites—abandoned or undeveloped non-Superfund industrial or commercial sites under state jurisdiction—have gained increasing attention from Congress in recent years as passage of a comprehensive Superfund package has become increasingly unlikely.
NGA’s Position NGA supports the reauthorization of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980. NGA policy calls for more opportunities for states to take authority for cleanup of National Priorities List (NPL) sites, increased autonomy and funding over brownfield sites, and the concurrence of a Governor before a site can be listed on the NPL.
Source: National Governors Association "Issues / Positions" 01-NGA15 on Aug 1, 2001
Support State Revolving Loan Fund for flexible Clean Water.
Dean adopted the National Governors Association position paper:
The Issue The Clean Water Act (CWA) has not been reauthorized since 1987. At that time, provisions were added to address nonpoint source pollution, pollution from diffuse sources such as runoff of fertilizers and pesticides, stormwater runoff, and sediment. Governors and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) disagree on the best approach to addressing the problem of nonpoint source pollution.
NGA’s Position NGA supports the reauthorization of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972 (the Clean Water Act). The Governors support an increased focus on watershed management planning, including funding for the State Revolving Loan Fund (SRF) and nonpoint source pollution programs. States should have the flexibility to develop plans for attaining federally approved water quality standards in impaired waters - in consultation with local government officials and stakeholders - and to allocate responsibility for cleanup among contributors. The TMDL regulations should be revised, by legislation if necessary, to give states adequate flexibility, funding, and time to address impaired waters.
Source: National Governors Association "Issues / Positions" 01-NGA9 on Aug 1, 2001
Page last updated: Mar 14, 2014