NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

State And Local Issues Often Critical

November 1, 2000

While most of the political debate during an election year focuses on national policies and issues, other issues of strictly local importance could well influence the outcomes. This is particularly true this year in certain regions where Washington's environmental pronouncements have threatened the livelihood of farmers and others.

Analyst Sterling Burnett of the National Center for Policy Analysis predicts that "key situations in key states" are cutting in George W. Bush's favor. That's because he is more sympathetic to local attitudes and needs than is the Clinton Administration's agenda on green policies formulated on a national basis.

Here are some examples.

  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Washington environmental lobby want to add a foot of water to the Missouri River every third spring to encourage certain species of birds and fish -- a plan that doesn't sit well with Missouri voters who recall only too well the damage caused by floods in 1993.
  • Some voters in Washington and Oregon are reportedly up in arms over the Clinton administration's flirting with the idea of breaching dams on the Snake River -- dams which provide electricity, farmland irrigation and make water navigable for shippers.
  • A Clinton Administration ban on road building and motor access within national forest areas threatens Wisconsin's timber and tourist industries, and has upset many voters there.
  • Coal mining is an election factor in Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Source: John Berlau, "Gore Finds 'Green' Agenda Tough Sell in States Where Economy Is At Risk," Investor's Business Daily, November 1, 2000.


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