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Gov. George W. Bush Unveils Conservation Initiative in Monroe, WashingtonAired September 13, 2000 - 12:37 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN ANCHOR: Conservation the message of the day today from Republican presidential nominee, Texas Governor George W. Bush. He's campaigning in Monroe, Washington. Let's listen.
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GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: First, I know that the people of local communities, the people of the states like Washington, love their land and wildlife and will act in positive ways to protect them.
And secondly, I believe the federal government acts best when it supports the state and local conservation efforts.
These principles will set my course should I become the president. Instead of relying on regulation alone, we'll provide incentives for progress. Instead of ignoring local efforts, we will encourage them. And instead of command and control, we'll provide a helping hand.
I will urge Congress to fully fund the Land & Water Conservation Fund at $900 million a year, and I will insist that half of those funds...
I will insist that half of those funds go to state and local conservation efforts, because protecting our environment must be a shared responsibility.
This new approach holds special promise for the state of Washington, which has often been the battleground of environmental war and environmental policy. Washington faces important challenges and there's no greater challenge than to save the salmon. For fishing families and businesses the salmon are a vital resource. For Native Americans they are a cultural cornerstone. For all of us these fish are a wonder of nature and they must be preserved.
There are two points of view about what to do. One says we must breach the dams to save the salmon. The other says we can save the salmon and save the dams. One is a Washington, D.C., point of view. The other is a state of Washington point of view.
Here's what I believe.
Here's what I believe. We do not need to breach the dams to save the salmon, and should I become the president, we won't.
These dams are vital to jobs and agriculture in the Pacific Northwest, and at a time of increasing dependence on foreign oil and rising concern about the quality of our air, the dams are a clean source of hydroelectricity.
I take great hope, though, across the state of Washington, that people, such as the folks I met with today, are providing there are better ways to save the salmon. Volunteers and professionals are spending a lot of time and effort to restore the salmon runs, working through groups like Long Live the Kings, the Northwestern Chinook Recovery and the Mid-Sound Salmon Enhancement Group.
MESERVE: Gov. George W. Bush campaigning today in Washington State, talking about the salmon recovery effort there. His basic message, the federal government should trust local communities and people to make decisions about their environment.
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