A roundup of environmental news from the presidential race
• Obama announced a proposal for a $5 billion Great Lakes restoration program on Tuesday, with funds to be spent on wetlands restoration, sewage repairs, cleaning up mercury and other toxic pollutants, and controlling invasive species. The proposal is expected to help him in the crucial swing states of Michigan and Ohio.
• In her second television interview, with Fox’s Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin said we have a “do-nothing Senate” on energy: “[N]obody’s wanting to really pick up the ball and run with it and take the steps that we have to take to become more energy independent.” She also reasserted that she would be in charge of energy policy in a McCain administration.
• The International Bottled Water Association is among the sponsors of this year’s presidential debates, reports the Center for Public Integrity.
• Democracy Now! talked to Rick Steiner, the marine conservation specialist and University of Alaska professor who discovered via a federal records request that Sarah Palin’s position on the polar-bear threatened-species listing didn’t line up with that of the state’s marine-mammal scientists.
• At the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative next week, John McCain will deliver the opening remarks at the plenary session entitled “Integrated Solutions: Water, Food and Energy.” Barack Obama will address the meeting via satellite.
• Though Palin keeps asserting that she turned down the “Bridge to Nowhere” (a claim that has now been thoroughly debunked), she has supported a $600 million bridge and highway project linking her hometown of Wasilla to Anchorage. Some in the state are concerned that the bridge could promote long commutes, and conservationists say it would threaten the Cook Inlet beluga whales, a genetically distinct population of whales that Palin has opposed listing as endangered, arguing that a listing could cause “serious long-term damage” to the local economy.