WASHINGTON - July 6 - John Edwards is a leader on protecting Americans' health and safety. In a 2003 Earth Day release Edwards stated, "our country needs real leadership on many critical issues: safeguarding the water our children drink, preserving our national parks and forests, and achieving energy independence while addressing dangerous climate changes are just a few." In the Senate, Edwards has built a strong record on these and other environmental issues:
* In 2003, Edwards led the Senate in protecting clean air by countering the Bush Administration's attempts to weaken the Clean Air Act (S20030012).
* He voted to increase funding for environmental programs and enforcement funding (S20030096).
* Edwards is a co-sponsor of the Clean Power Act, designed to require utilities to control multiple pollutants - carbon dioxide, mercury, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides.
* Senator Edwards has consistently voted to protect the Arctic Refuge and to defend America's public lands, national monuments, and coastal areas from damaging oil and gas drilling (S20020071, S20000058, S20010229, S20010231).
* In 2000, Edwards supported an amendment to the Agriculture appropriations bill to increase protections for public lands from the toxic pollution that results from mining operations (S20000224).
* Senator Edwards supported the Clinton Administration's Roadless Rule and took votes to reduce harmful subsidies for commercial logging, to reduce overgrazing on public lands, and against weakening public lands protections in 2000 and 2001 (S20000207, S20000175, S20000208).
* Edwards voted in 2001 to prevent the weakening of Endangered Species Act protections for salmon and other threatened fish species in California's Klamath Basin (S20010232) and voted in 1999 to increase funding for Forest Service fish and wildlife programs.
* In 2000, he supported an amendment to the Energy and Water Appropriations bill to improve water flows and wildlife habitat on the Missouri River (S20000232).
"At a time that the Bush Administration has made unprecedented attacks on environmental protections, Senator Edwards consistently stands up to preserve and strengthen the laws that keep Americans' air, water and public land clean and safe," said Debbie Sease, Sierra Club's Legislative Director. "John Edwards will make an excellent Vice President."