Helping Our Peninsula's Environment


President Clinton's Deadly Environmental Acts

"President Clinton has done more damage to our environment than Reagan and Bush (the 1rst) combined." - David Brower

58 Substantial Anti-Environmental or Anti-Democracy Acts by President Clinton

Compiled For: The National Sierra Club Board of Directors, by David Dilworth in Fall 1996 (and amended in 1998), Editor/Publisher - Peninsula Environmental News

Disclaimer: Any Opinions included are not endorsed by the Sierra Club. In spite of Clinton's astounding, and mostly not covered by mainstream media, anti-environmental record, Sierra Club Endorsed Clinton for re-election in a very close 7-5 vote.  This was only the second time in the 100 plus year history of the Club that they endorsed a Presidential candidate.

Club Director Adam Werbach was a swing vote in favor of the Club endorsing Clinton/Gore. He even excitedly reported getting a call from Al Gore prior to their vote. About a year later his book as published with a cover endorsement by Al Gore.


"Let him do his job. His private life is none of our business."

A not uncommon response to Clinton's recent alleged trysts. I for one find that sex scandals are the only Clinton misdeeds the media covers. The following is a list of official Presidential actions which Bill Clinton is fully responsible for - which have received little mainstream media attention.

None of the following serious Presidential actions are accidental.

Only a few are negligence.

Almost all are deliberate, intentional planned efforts with the Rhodes Scholar and Lawyer Clinton, and his staff knowing the probable harmful impacts.


1. Nerve Gas Protected 

Clinton moved to stop the phase-out of the Methyl Bromide nerve gas (also an ozone layer depleter). This cumulative poison is heavier than air and drifts downhill to many elementary schools. School evacuations are common. Children and neighbors have been hospitalized for poisoning. More than 18 Californians have died from Methyl Bromide poisoning. Most victims only think they have the flu, when they are really being poisoned.

2. Clinton supported weakening the Safe Drinking Water Act. Remember the 104 dead people in Milwaukee from cryptosporidium in drinking water in 1994? Clinton supported weakening clean water regulations, allowing increased levels of Lead, Radon, & Arsenic in the water we use to drink and bathe in.

3. Systematic EPA Enforcement Blocking (e.g. allowing dioxin dumping in the ocean).

4. EPA's Carol Browner refused to stop a Hazardous waste incinerator (toxic air pollution) 300 feet from homes and 1100 feet from an East Liverpool, Ohio elementary school. (The Nation "EPA Fiddles while WTI Burns" Sept 93; GAP Spring 1993) (In the 1992 Campaign Al Gore CLEARLY promised he would stop this outrageous incinerator, then secretly had it approved.)

5. Support of radioactive waste storage at Lawrence Livermore shipped from all round the US.

6. Aggressive support for international distribution of Recombinant Bovine Growth (RGB) Hormone which -

  • puts pressure on smaller dairies 
  • leads to higher rates of infection in dairy cows 
  • leads to higher use of antibiotics in dairy cows

* New: Clinton Signed a special exemption from the EPA's duty to disclose what it found at Air Force Site "Area 51" in Nevada - an exemption renewed annually. (Project Censored 99 pg 242)

* New 2000: Clinton Administration aggressively blocking labeling of Genetically Modified Foods.


7. Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt's Year Long Endangered Species Listing Moratorium.

8. Supporting gutting the Endangered Species Act by allowing agencies charged with enforcement to develop regulations with groups opposed to regulation (e.g. miner, enforcement developers, ranchers, etc.) Regulatory weakening of the ESA - e.g. gnat-catcher sonbird proposal involving "shared habitat" between gnat-catcher & development.

*9. Logging Without Laws "Salvage Rider" - the Death Warrant for our few remaining magnificent Ancient Forests. 

10. Sec. Babbitt refusing to sign the 5 million dollar Spotted Owl Recovery Plan which would have protected Northwest forests and completely superseded -

11. Northwest Forest Option 9 - Chosen by Clinton where ABSOLUTELY NO Northwest FOREST WAS LEFT PROTECTED.

Gridlock in the forests of the Pacific Northwest was better for the trees than Option 9 has been. We wouldn't have stumps of 400+-year-old firs without Clinton's strongarm efforts.

12. Continuing intervention support for the Mt. Graham telescope development which endangers the Mount Graham Squirrel and has clear-cut a forest.

13. Sec. Babbitt firing BLM Director Jim Baca who intended to reform Grazing.

14. Fighting for Grazing Deregulation

Recently, Clinton moved to DE-REGULATE public lands grazing. How come he fought so hard for NAFTA & GATT, and won't even try to get us a decent grazing rent for our public lands concessions?

15. Allowing the Forest Service to try to gut the viability provisions and re-write the National Forest Management Act regulations without a committee of Scientists, as required by the NFMA law.

16. Allowing the US Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marines Fisheries Service to issue a special rule for the Forest Service and BLM that would have undermined Endangered Species Act interagency consultation by allowing default approvals of any of their actions before meaningful review by USFWS or NMFS could be done.

17. Clinton signed the Convention on Biodiversity in 1993 but, refuses to support Senate ratifying it, so US is not among the 150 nations which have signed it. U.S. failed to sign biodiversity convention at Rio Summit because of plank on "genetically manipulated organisms" - a nod to Monsanto & their "Roundup-ready" soybeans.

18. Worked overtime to weaken Dolphin protection.

19. Sec. Babbitt on the Gulf Coast, where incidental take permits to kill beach mice have been liberally dispensed, allowing the overbuilding of our barrier islands/beaches and the almost certain extinction of the Alabama beach mouse.

20. Sec. Babbitt fired BLM Director Jim Baca who intended to reform Mining.

* New - Sec. Babbitt's persistent efforts to provide "No-Surprises" for developers giving them a permanent exemption from additional Endangered Species Protection.


21. NAFTA - The Race to the Bottom.

Insures weakest possible environmental laws in the Americas. When a stronger law exists - any businessman in the country with weaker laws can sue our Federal Government to either overturn it or get hundreds of millions of dollars in damages (The Canadian MTBE manufacturer is suing the US for 796 million).

The Clinton Administration used its authority under NAFTA to overturn our 15 year old ban on the production and importation of PCBs: We now import PCBs from Canada and Mexico, to keep US hazardous waste incinerators profitable! Europeans are required to import U.S. hormone-treated beef, Americans must stomach tuna killed with dolphins, US EPA lowered air quality standards to allow imports of reformulated gas and the US is now required to import shrimp that kills endangered sea turtles. Could Bush have gotten this passed? Unlikely.

22. GATT - Race to the Bottom II.

Insures weakest possible environmental laws worldwide. On 4/29/96 the U.S. lost its *FINAL APPEAL* at GATT's new World Trade Org. (WTO), of U.S. regulations promulgated under the Clean Air Act. The U.S. now must choose between two equally unacceptable options: allow Venezuela to import dirtier gasoline into the United States, or pay $150 million in trade sanctions for new trade benefits to Venezuela. Under GATT's new WTO -- pushed strongly by Clinton -- we must now PAY POLLUTERS NOT TO POLLUTE!

23. No commitment to a Comprehensive (Nuclear) Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) Lots of lip-service, yes, but the National Ignition Facility and "Stockpile Stewardship" both undermine the CTBT.

24. A French Nuclear Bomb recently set off in Pacific atoll stopped for refueling in Los Angeles with full knowledge and support of Clinton administration.


25. Cave-in on Fuel Efficiency standards, not pursuing CAFE increases, and has stalled any meaningful measures to slow the onset of global climate change.

26. Continued decline in funding for Mass Transit.

27. Dropping proposed federal gas tax.

28. Supported Four cent Gas Tax Repeal.

29. Supported Draining Strategic Petroleum Reserves for Gas Guzzlers.

*** NEW as of Oct 15th 1996

48. Clinton Dropped the Carbon Tax.



30. Wetlands Destruction Administration's refusal to have the Corps of Engineers implement Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. The Corps has never been so determined in its goal of eliminating wetlands as it is now.

31. Undermining Coastal Barriers Resources System. CBRS passed in 1982 and expanded in 1990 denies federal subsidies that encourage development in currently undeveloped fragile coastal areas. The Clinton Administration had been strongly opposing a House bill by Republican Tillie Fowler from FL to exempt retroactively some areas mapped by USFWS some years ago. Now it seems the real estate industry has gotten to him -- FL votes crucial to the Election -- and as of today McGinty is reconsidering and leans towards a reversal.

32. Expanding Wetlands Destruction (General 404) Permits In the 80's, the Army Corps of Engineers began developing and giving out general permits. These are supposed to be allowed for small fills that have minimal impact. They do not require developers to get an individual 404 permit and the losses are not tracked. So according to the Corps, we went from losing 300,000 acres of wetlands per year in 1994 to losing 70 - 90,000 acres in 1996. Are we suddenly saving 200,000 acres each year - NO - WE JUST GIVE THEM AWAY IN GENERAL PERMITS & DON'T TRACK THE LOSSES. Over 83% of all permits go through general permits and the denial rate in 1995 was .5%. It's almost impossible not to get a wetlands destruction permit.

There are now 39 nationwide permits. The Clinton Administration has issued 10 and Sierra Club is unhappy enough with them to sue on one and potentially sue on another. The suits come after months of working with EPA & the Corps for improvements, bringing affected citizens in to show why these nationwide permits are harmful, and filling the public comment period with our concerns. The Administration then completely ignores our input and issues a final rule. When they get the suit notice, they call & beg us not to sue - but refuse to address the problems. All nationwide permits will be up for renewal soon. The Administration can fix these giveaways - or not.

33. Wetlands Destruction III - Prior Converted Cropland Exemption The Administration issued policy to remove all protection for functioning wetlands that currently are farmed. This totals 53 MILLION ACRES. Sierra Club asked that they be used as restoration sites at a minimum. We should not be turning farmland into shopping centers & condos.

34. Refusing to rescind Bush's "Takings" Executive Order.

35. Failure to give us a Peace Dividend.

  • Money could go to environmental programs. 
  • Military is major polluter.


36. Signing the "Unfunded Mandates" Bill -- which replaces regulation with "market" control of environmental protections.

37. New Ocean Dumping Policy that stops requiring tests for toxicity and bioaccumulation. It allows risk assessment models to substitute for testing contaminants to be dumped into our oceans. (Even ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND said it was so bad that it should be thrown out).

38. One-Sided Appeals Process for Wetlands permits. Only the developer can appeal - we cannot. They are still going over the public comments on this - could be final before 1997.

39. Massive Failure to enforce anti-trust laws.

40. Anti-terrorism Bill

When Judy Barry & Daryl Cherny of Earth First! were blown up in their car, the FBI accused *them* of bombing themselves. The FBI then used the bombing as an excuse to investigate Earth First, going through phone records, busting into environmentalists' homes, and the like. The so-called anti-terrorism bill enhances law-enforcement's powers and *all* grass-roots organizations should be concerned.

41. July 21 96 Signed a Bill Transferring National Park Service property to a local jurisdiction which intends to let a developer build a park and recreation area for children over an area which now is used for solid waste disposal.

But he seemed like such a nice guy ...

*** NEW as of Oct 15th 1996

42. Clinton signed the Immigration Bill which waives the Endangered Species Act and National Environmental Policy Act along both Canadian and Mexican borders.

43. Navy ships are now exempted from dumping prohibitions in special areas (the most sensitive oceans.) 

And don't forget Clinton's veneer for the 1996 re-election TV cameras:

44. Clinton's Administration gave go ahead to log 53,000 of the 60,000 acres of the Headwaters Redwood Forest -- to Charles Hurwitz who cost US taxpayers some 1.2 Billion dollars. How many Bank robberies does it take to equal 1.2 billion dollars? 120,000 bank robberies at $10,000 each.

45. The fake protection (there is still NO PROHIBITION ON GRAZING AND COAL MINING!) of a small portion of the Utah Wilderness so many worked so long and hard for. What happened to the other 70 percent?

46. The Yellowstone Park Mining corporation payoff.

Republican Bob Dole tried but could not pass a bill making regulatory takings illegal. Clinton made it a reality with this payoff to not violate federal laws. Yellowstone could have been protected without these grotesque handouts.

47. Agriculture Sec. Dan Glickman's Directive to stop logging - doesn't.

The Glickman directive does not -
  • "cancel" any sales completely, 
  • protect all roadless areas, 
  • stop logging of old growth, or 
  • stop the abuse of green, healthy forests being logged under the Rider.
It only affects a fraction of the environmentally objectionable timber sales that are pending under the Salvage Rider (see #9 above).
It admits that the Clinton Administration has always had the authority to stop bad "lawless logging" Rider sales.
There is no "emergency" that requires any of the proposed Rider sales to be offered as "lawless logging" at the present time.

49. Refusing to uphold sanctions against Norway for illegal Whaling.

50. Quietly killed the only public method of keeping track of death rates in US Hospitals. Formerly law required yearly reports comparing hospital's death rates for medicare patients. (Project Censored)

51. Recycling Retro

As part of the "Reinventing Government" activities of the Vice President, a Dec. 31, 1996 Federal Register notice would withdraw a section of EPA regulation that would require federal government agencies to impose a refundable deposit on beverages sold at federal facilities.

52. Clinton and EPA Browner support the "Right to Know Nothing Laws" including Texas version with the anti-whistleblower provision. (Peter Montague, Jun 97)

53. Signed bill repealing the 1958 Delany Clause which, until Clinton, prohibited adding CANCER causing pesticides or ingredients in food. Watch what you eat!

* Singled out because US refused to Support UN resolution to ban under 18 year old soldiers. (Jan 2000) Amnesty International.

-END (for now)

* PS Clinton signed an executive order declassifying government secrets more than 25 years old - forgot to mention that he gave the FBI a blanket exemption! Project Censored 1999 pg 259

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This Page Last Updated 5/25/02