For Immediate Release CONTACT:
March 28, 2001 David Willett 202-675-6698
Ken Midkiff 573-815-9250

Radio Ads Turn Up Heat on Congress for President's Irresponsible
Environmental Policies

Washington, DC: The Sierra Club today launched targeted radio ads aimed at
encouraging influential members of Congress to press President Bush over
his recent irresponsible attacks on the environment. Running in nine
states, the ads focus on President Bush's decision against reducing
cancer-causing arsenic in Americans' drinking water and his betrayal of a
campaign pledge by refusing to cut the carbon dioxide pollution that causes
global warming. The ads kick off a two-month effort to focus the public's
attention on Bush's disregard for sound science and the will of the
American public who want clean air and water and their families' health
protected from pollution.

Ads in Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire and
Vermont ask the public to tell both of their Senators to encourage the
President to adopt more responsible environmental policies. Additionally,
two ads will ask listeners in Congressional districts MI-08 and NM-01 to
contact Reps. Mike Rogers and Heather Wilson respectively.

"The public cares about clean air and clean water and they need to know
that President Bush is making irresponsible choices that put their
families' health at risk," said Carl Pope, Executive Director of the Sierra
Club. "President Bush is ignoring sound science and the public's demand to
keep drinking water safe and reduce the carbon dioxide pollution that
causes global warming."

"No one wants to drink arsenic when they turn on their tap, but President
Bush caved to the mining industry and halted an effort to make our drinking
water safer," continued Pope. "His decision to bow to industry demands
makes it difficult to trust him with the environmental policies that keep
our air and water clean. The residents of these states want to reduce
arsenic and carbon dioxide pollution. We hope that their Members of
Congress will pass the concerns of their constituents on to President

The arsenic-reduction rule addressed in the Sierra Club ads would have
provided additional protection to 12.7 million Americans from cancer and
other health problems, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes, as
well as developmental and neurological effects. After decades of study and
debate, the Bush Administration is stalling by demanding more public
comments. According to the National Academy of Sciences, long-term
exposure to low concentrations of arsenic in drinking water can lead to
skin, bladder, lung, and prostate cancer. Non-cancer effects of ingesting
arsenic at low levels include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and anemia,
as well as reproductive and developmental, immunological, and neurological

The radio ads also address President Bush's broken campaign promise to curb
carbon dioxide pollution, the primary gas causing global warming. His
backpedaling after heavy lobbying by big-business interests deeply
distresses the Sierra Club and other Americans concerned about the
consequences of global warming.

On the campaign trail in September, then-Gov. Bush promised "mandatory
reduction targets for emissions of four main pollutants" including carbon
dioxide. In recent weeks, his Environmental Protection Agency
administrator, Christie Whitman, spoke out in support of Bush's campaign
position, igniting the ire of business lobbyists. Two weeks ago, President
Bush reversed his position in a letter to Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE),
promising to reduce only three air pollutants from power plants.

This initial one-week run of radio ads in nine states kicks off a focused
two-month advertising and organizing campaign designed to inform Americans
about the need to make economically and environmentally wise choices about
our nation's energy future. The ad campaign will also raise awareness about
the threats to our water, air and wildlands created by recent and
irresponsible Bush Administration attacks on environmental protections.
This campaign will be the focus of Sierra Club's activities leading up to
and including Earth Day, and will culminate in an assessment of Bush's
first 100 days in office.


For Copies and Scripts of the Radio Ads, please call 202-675-6698

For more information, please visit