Air Date: Week of October 23, 1992
Steve outlines the environmental philosophy of Vice President Dan Quayle, with excerpts from a recent campaign address. Quayle has gained a major role in the Bush administration's environmental policy. (The Vice President declined repeated requests to appear on the program.)
CURWOOD: In its first two years, the Bush Administration staked out an environmental record that won it points, even from skeptics. The President helped lobby for the new Clean Air Act, stopped most new offshore oil drilling, and jacked up funding for the EPA. But in the last two years, the Administration has changed course somewhat, at least partly under the influence of Vice President Dan Quayle. Quayle chairs the White House Council on Competitiveness, which gives final review to environmental and other regulations. Recently some have charged that the council has thwarted EPA Director William Reilly's efforts to implement parts of the Clean Air Act. And Quayle and the Council have also attempted to open up for development vast areas of land now classified as wetlands. Without a Cabinet-level Department of the Environment, Quayle, who does have a seat at the Cabinet table, has become in a sense the de facto Secretary of the Environment. The Vice President declined repeated requests to appear on Living on Earth, but he has often laid out his environmental platform throughout the campaign, including this appearance in Michigan.
QUAYLE: Ladies and gentlemen, let me go back to the idea of balance, proportion, reasonability. Yes, we demand a clean, safe environment. We have built a strong record pursuing it. We have developed new, innovative ways to protect the environment such as tradable pollution permits under the Clean Air Act. And we have acted swiftly when sound science required action, leading the world to speed the elimination of CFC's, but the President and I recognize that jobs too are a priority and must remain a priority. (applause)
CURWOOD: Doing too much to protect the environment, the Vice President says, can be as harmful as doing too little.
QUAYLE: The Federal Government has a duty to safeguard our environment . But it also has a duty to examine each new environmental scare before launching a massive and costly war against it. To balance the needs of the people with the needs of owls and rats and snakes. To respect the proper authority of states and localities and the rights of people to their own property and to their own livelihoods.
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