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23.5.03

Grist magazine has a good interview with Howard Dean about his stance on the environment. There's nothing terribly surprising in it. He supports all the standard moderate environmental items like renewable energy and reducing environment-related human health impacts, and mentions that environmental protection can be good for the economy (a crucial point to emphasize given that the bad economy will be issue #2 in the election and will probably make or break the Democratic candidate). On the other hand, he takes a few stands likely to anger the hardcore green voters -- he doesn't repudiate his support as governor for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump (and mentions the annoying terrorism argument), and while he is in favor of labeling genetically modified food, he seems fairly sanguine with respect to the potential health and ecological impacts of GMOs. The first sentence of his response quoted below pretty well sums up how the environment issue will probably play in the campaign:

Grist: How do you distinguish your environmental agenda from those of the other candidates?

Dean: The big difference between the Democratic candidates is not our intentions. I'd say most of us have strong records on the environment and that we generally have similar environmental positions. But what you see with me is that as governor, I've actually been able to carry out policies rather than just vote for them. ...

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