Sierran Masthead

Club Endorses Bill Clinton

Renewing his claim to the title of "Comeback Kid," Bill Clinton has won the Sierra Club's endorsement in his reelection bid.

The Club's Board of Directors voted to endorse the President in mid-September, just days after Clinton boldly moved to protect 1.7 million acres of Utah wilderness by executive action. Although the Club backed Clinton in his 1992 challenge to George Bush, many environmentalists have been disappointed with his performance as president. Frustration turned to anger last summer when he signed the so-called salvage logging rider, which increased timber-cutting in national forests.

Over the past year, though, Clinton has returned to pro-environment policies he stood for earlier in his administration, when he signed the Colorado Wilderness and California Desert Protection acts into law. He earned widespread praise last winter for vetoing budget bills that would have allowed oil drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and clear-cutting in Tongass National Forest; weakened protection for California's Mojave National Preserve; slashed the Environmental Protection Agency's budget; cut funding for international family planning; and blocked enforcement of wetlands protections.

In August, dangers to Yellowstone National Park were averted when the administration negotiated an agreement with the firm that held gold-mining rights nearby. One month later, Clinton established the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in southern Utah, effectively ending the threat of massive coal-mining there.

"Bill Clinton has redeemed our faith in his administration," says Club President Adam Werbach. "Bob Dole would spell disaster for the nation's environment. But the President has earned our support in his own right."

Copyright © 2007 Hoosier Chapter Sierra Club, all rights reserved.[6/28/02]efp

Fall 1996