Environmental Issues Get Attention in Battleground States
Although the environment has not been an important issue nationally in the presidential race, getting only minutes of attention during three national debates, both candidates are paying attention to local environmental issues as they covered battleground states in the days before the election.
In Nevada, Senator Kerry (D-MA) said that he would stop the project to store radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain from moving forward if elected. Kerry accused Bush of going back on a campaign promise to consider the science before deciding to proceed with the repository, located 90 miles north of Las Vegas.
Bush only narrowly won Nevada in the 2000 election, and two of the state's largest newspapers cited Yucca Mountain when they endorsed Kerry.
Coal policy has been an issue in West Virginia and parts of Ohio, where both Bush and Kerry have made promises to fund the Department of Energy's clean coal technology program.
In Florida, the Everglades and off-shore oil drilling have been the environmental issues mentioned by the candidates, wetland and wildlife conservation are the hot topics in Wisconsin and Minnesota, where both candidates have emphasized the benefits of their environmental policies to hunters and sportsmen.