By Steve Hargreaves
Times Record Staff
BRUNSWICK: Vice President Al Gore's senior environmental
touted the Democratic presidential candidate's environmental record
Wednesday to students at Bates and Bowdoin colleges.
"Students in Maine are paying attention," Katie McGinty, who has
for Gore since 1989 when he was a U.S. senator, said before her
Bowdoin College's Pickard Theater. "(They) are aware George
on the environment is deplorable."
McGinty said Gore has worked to implement the toughest clean
regulations in a generation and will continue to push Congress to
and ratify the Kyoto Protocol, but only after provisions governing
developing nations are included and other details are worked out.
treaty, aimed at reducing global emissions of greenhouse gases,
reached three years ago in Japan and signed by many of the world's
countries but has yet to be ratified by the United States.
Gore's clean air record in this country has come under attack from
critics who say he violated previous campaign promises.
Nancy Allen, a Surry resident who is spokeswoman for the national
Party, said Gore reneged on a 1992 campaign pledge to shut down
hazardous waste incinerator in East Liverpool, Ohio.
McGinty said Gore promised to ensure the safety of the
neighborhood, which includes homes and a school, through a
permitting process. She said he didn't promise to shut down the
"It was determined the incinerator did not pose a public health
threat," she said.
On issues of water quality, McGinty said Gore is proposing to
billion over the next 10 years to help communities clean drinking
and treat sewage. That amount is double current federal funding.
She said that money could be used to help Maine clean up sites
contaminated with MTBE, the gas additive that was used to produce
cleaner burning gas.
On other Maine issues, McGinty said Gore supports the
development of a
centralized nuclear waste repository, but only after extensive testing
done to ensure safety in storage and transportation. Due to such
the development of long-term storage facility has been stalled for
resulting in on-site storage of high level nuclear waste in such
the closed Maine Yankee nuclear power plant in Wiscasset.
McGinty said Gore would not take a stand on whether a large part
Maine woods should be designated a national park, preferring
leave that decision up to Maine voters and landowners.
In his book "Earth in the Balance," Gore called for the country to
up with a national energy plan focusing on reduced use of fossil
the development of renewable energy technology, a call critics said
McGinty countered that the Republican Congress has only
cents out of every dollar the Clinton-Gore administration has
renewable energy use. She said Gore proposes spending $150
the next 10 years to develop alternatives to fossil fuels and more
efficient transportation systems.
When asked why a voter who was concerned about the
vote for Gore over Green Party candidate Ralph Nader, McGinty
environmental proposals have been unspecified and that he doesn't
attention to other issues such as gay and lesbian rights, and
"His record is not very robust on some of those matters," she said.
McGinty said in the interest of engagement, Gore supported the
normalize trade relations with China despite concerns from critics
said such a move would reward a country that has weak
"It will open the door for U.S. companies to export technologies
are much cleaner than the ones currently available in China," she
She also said the Clinton-Gore administration, acting alone, has
advocating for a more democratically run World Trade Organization,
international group governing world trade. The group has been
for its secretive way of conducting business.