John McCain is more of an environmentalist than most Republicans. He is in the Schwarzenegger camp when it comes to curbing global warming and ending reliance on foreign oil. Lately, McCain has shied away from his environmentalist roots in order to appeal to a more business friendly conservative base. Hopefully that is a trend he will avoid in the very near future.
One sign that McCain is still an environmentalist at heart is his considerations for a running mate. So far, two names have been circulated that give hope to those in the environmental community who fear a Republican win in November.
The first name often circulated as a potential running mate is Florida Governor Charlie Crist. I am a Floridian who has been transplanted to Washington, DC. The environment in Florida is a very important issue because the economy there relies on tourists flocking to clean, beautiful beaches. Also, Florida is home to the Everglades National Park, a very sensitive ecosystem that has been abused for years. Not to mention that as the "Sunshine State" Florida has a great position as a leader on solar power. So what are Crist's environmental accomplishments to date?
- Crist opposed and halted the planned development of 3 new coal power plants in Florida, including 1 located in the Everglades.
- Crist has signed a moratorium on coal power plant development.
- Under Crist's leadership Florida is planning on building the world's largest solar-thermal power plant.
- Crist supported & signed a law expanding restoration of the Everglades ecosystem to include Lake Okeechobee and areas farther North.
- Crist has increased regulations on farmers growing crops along the Everglades with tougher wastewater residual standards, faster development of total maximum daily load standards for the Caloosahatchee, and a multi-agency plan for cleaner agriculture practices.
- The 2007-08 budget he signed includes $200 million for Everglades restoration.
- Crist coordinated and hosted a Climate Summit in Florida to begin a dialog among environmental and business leaders on how to address the challenge of global climate change.
- Crist has agreed to cut Florida's greenhouse gas emissions by 10% in just 7 years and by 80% by 2050.
- Crist has pledged to make the state's buildings and operations more environmentally friendly.
- Read an interview with Gov. Crist on his environmental record HERE
- Pawlenty is a proponent of clean, renewable energy. In his role as head of the National Governors Association, he has presented state standards for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- He proposed and approved creation of the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program that conserves 120,000 acres of land surrounding environmentally sensitive water bodies.
- Pawlenty helped to create the Glacial Ridge National Wildlife Refuge.
- Pawlenty created four million acres of "certified sustainable forests," the nationals largest area of such forest land.
- Pawlenty directed lottery funds to the Natural Resources Trust Fund.
- Pawlenty created a wetland monitoring program for prairie wetlands.
- Pawlenty approved laws that reduced mercury emissions from Minnesota's power plants.
- Pawlenty supported the "Community Based Energy Development Tariff" that helps fund development of local wind and clean energy sources along with a goal of 800 megawatts of locally created renewable electricity by 2010.
- Pawlenty has proposed a constitutional amendment dedicating some state sales tax for improved water monitoring, cleaning and remediation.
- Pawlenty signed a law that makes it more difficult for ATV riders to drive through forests. Forests must be independently evaluated to ensure they are able to handle the impact of ATVs before riders can enter the forests legally.
A funny video of Bush & McCain