Advertisement: Columbia Commonwealth University

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:, “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

Other candidates on Environment: Ralph Nader on other issues:
George W. Bush
Dick Cheney
John Edwards
John Kerry

Third Party Candidates:
Michael Baradnik
Peter Camejo
David Cobb
Ralph Nader
Michael Peroutka

Democratic Primaries:
Carol Moseley Braun
Wesley Clark
Howard Dean
Dick Gephardt
Bob Graham
Dennis Kucinich
Joe Lieberman
Al Sharpton
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Social Security
Tax Reform
Adv: Avi Green for State Rep Middlesex 26, Somerville & Cambridge Massachusetts