"Why Al Gore has the greens seeing red" (Washington Outlook, Jan. 24) may mislead readers about the Sierra Club's activities in the Presidential race. The article excerpts a memo representing the individual views of a Sierra Club board member and blows it out of proportion. Contrary to the impression created, the Sierra Club has not yet taken a position or made an endorsement of any candidate running for President. In fact, the club's Political Committee has barely begun the democratic process it uses to make such an important decision. The club believes that both Vice-President Al Gore and Senator Bill Bradley have strong records protecting our air, water, and land.
The Sierra Club applauded Gore's announcement that as President he would halt new oil drilling off the California and Florida coasts. In contrast, it was President George Bush and then-Florida Commerce Secretary Jeb Bush who approved the Chevron leases for oil and gas exploration off the Florida coast.
Due to the similarity of Gore's and Bradley's records, and the need to fully solicit the views of club members, the club has not yet endorsed a candidate for President. In addition, it hopes that all of the Presidential candidates will address three pressing questions:
-- What binding, concrete emissions reductions would they advocate to fight global warming?
-- How would they fix international trade agreements and rules to enhance environmental protection worldwide?
-- What policies would they advocate to shift the U.S. to a 21st century economy that cuts dependence on natural-resource extraction and combustion?
Poll after poll indicates that Americans want a clean and safe environment. The next President will be responsible for fulfilling this strong public desire. The Sierra Club will undertake a thorough analysis before it makes this critical endorsement.
Flat Rock, N.C.