Vote for Bustamante after you vote NO on recall
by Bill Magavern, Senior Legislative Representative, Sierra Club California
Sierra Club California has endorsed Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante for
governor in the October 7th election. While we continue to oppose the costly recall,
we strongly urge all of our members to vote on both parts of the ballot: no on
recall, and yes on Bustamante. In the event that the recall passes, electing a
pro-environment candidate like Bustamante is absolutely vital to protecting the
air, water and land of the Golden State.
Good environmental record
Although in his early years as a Democratic Assembly Member from the Fresno
area, Bustamante did not have as green a record as most coastal Democrats, when
he became Speaker of the Assembly in 1997 and acquired statewide responsibilities,
his performance improved dramatically. In 1997 and 1998 he earned a 100% voting
record from the California League of Conservation Voters. Since then Bustamante
has shown himself to be a consistent environmental champion. Sierra Club California,
the California League of Conservation Voters, and Vote the Coast endorsed him
for Lieutenant Governor in both 1998 and 2002.
| Vote for Bustamante after
you vote NO on recall.
As Speaker, Bustamante began to focus his attention on coastal environmental
issues. His appointments to the Coastal Commission dramatically and positively
changed the Commission’s structure and focus. He helped increase environmental
funding in the state budget by 19%, including $15 million to increase coastal
access, acquire coastal lands and to stabilize technical staffing levels to provide
local communities assistance in complying with the California Coastal Act.
As Lt. Governor, he has continued protecting our coast and waterways through
his position on the California State Lands Commission (CSLC). Bustamante has vigorously
fought off-shore oil drilling and has battled industry to ensure they do not leave
their trash on our ocean floors. “I adopted a zero-tolerance position on oil spills,”
Bustamante says, “and became the only person in the history of the CSLC to exercise
the power of the Chair to order an oil platform shut down.”
Bustamante has used the Lieutenant Governor’s office to advocate Sierra Club-supported
legislation. He has backed bills to increase the state’s use of renewable energy,
to reduce vehicle greenhouse gas emissions and to close a loophole that was being
used by real estate speculators to drive up the cost of lands that were being
acquired for preservation.
In answers to questions from Sierra Club California’s Political Committee,
Bustamante said that the three most important environmental issues he would face
if elected would be “managing the impending water crisis; the increasing levels
of plastics and other toxins in our waters; and air pollution.”
His plan for water supply is to first focus on conservation and then “look
to emerging technologies—including desalination—while maintaining public control
over this valuable public resource.” To improve water quality, he promises to
aggressively reduce urban run-off and clean up our beaches and rivers.
On air, he pledges to fully implement AB 1493, the landmark greenhouse gas
law and support efforts to ensure that polluters pay for the damage they cause
to the environment. He also says he will look to legislation to reduce air emissions
in the Central Valley.
Unlike Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bustamante opposes the Bush Administration’s
modifications of the New Source Review process under the Clean Air Act because
they roll back improvements in air quality and create loopholes for polluters.
Bustamante agrees with Sierra Club that environmental justice considerations
should become a standard part of all environmental review. In addition, his energy
platform holds that the state should continue to emphasize conservation, while
exploring alternative energy sources and expanding our use of renewable energy
sources. Schwarzenegger, on the other hand, has made building more power plants
the centerpiece of his energy platform. The actor declined to return the Sierra
Club questionnaire. He reportedly is seeking a hurried retrofit of his gas-guzzling
Hummer, but he can not so easily build a real environmental record—that takes
years of actual work. Cruz Bustamante has done that work.
Addressing one of the key issues facing the state, Bustamante states that “urban
sprawl is a serious issue that increases traffic, air pollution, water use and
urban run-off, and decreases the amount of land we can preserve as open space.
We need to create public / private partnerships to increase infill development
and to create livable urban communities with broad public transportation options.”
The Sierra Club endorsement interview committee raised the sprawl issue with him
both generally and in the specific context of tribal casinos. The Lt. Gov. made
it clear that the Native American tribes have sovereignty over their own lands,
but expressed a willingness to consider negotiating with them on environmental
issues if the need were demonstrated.
Bustamante indicated that he has not yet focused much attention on the issue
of forestry, but that he opposes clearcutting. On this and other issues, he committed
to listening to our views and making himself accessible to our representatives.
His record and platform, along with this willingness to listen, make Cruz Bustamante
the environmental choice for governor on the second portion of the October 7 ballot.
On the first question, we continue to urge a “no” vote on recall.