Vote with the Facts!

Voter Guide

We feel that there is no more urgent matter than to share these researched facts nationwide in order

to counter "the spin," register voters, and support them all the way to the polls.

© 2004, Vote with the Facts & US Face to Face

Permission to copy, reprint, and distribute granted.

The Environment

1) Does the Bush Administration’s "Clear Skies Initiative" improve air quality?  

No.  These changes to the 1970 Clean Air Act actually increase allowable pollution levels by 42 million tons of additional pollutants released by 2020. This would allow three times more toxic mercury to 163 tons, 50 percent more sulfur emissions, and hundreds of thousands more tons of smog-forming nitrogen oxides annually. It is estimated that 100,000 premature deaths will result, and that Clear Skies-related health problems will cost taxpayers $115 billion per year. Below are graphs showing the increase in tons of pollutants allowed under Clear Skies Initiative (CSI).

Sources: "2 Studies Contradict EPA on New Rules," John Heilprin (AP), Washington Post, Oct. 23, 2003,

Natural Resources Defense Council,

Testimony of David G. Hawkins, Director, NRDC Climate Center, Natural Resources Defense Council, Hearings on S. 385, “Clear Skies Act of 2003”, U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works, Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate Change, and Nuclear Safety, April 8, 2003,

2) In 2003, the Bush administration’s EPA dropped active investigations into power plants for their violations of the Clean Air Act.  Investigations of how many power plant were dropped? 

Fifty.  Bush administration changes in the underlying rules will allow the utility industry to avoid making pollution-control upgrades that directly affect our air quality. Representatives of the utility industry were among President Bush’s largest campaign donors.

Sources:  "Lawyers at E.P.A. Say It Will Drop Pollution Cases," Christopher Drew and Richard A. Oppel, Jr., New York Times, Nov. 6, 2003,

3) How large is the untapped oil reserve in the environmentally pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which the Bush administration has repeatedly attempted to open to commercial drilling? 

Estimated to be less than what the US consumes in 6 months — i.e., about 3.2 billion barrels of economically recoverable oil. Moreover, oil from the refuge would take about 10 years to begin reaching the market, and even when production peaks — in the distant year of 2027 — the refuge would produce less than 2% of the oil Americans are expected to use that year.

Sources: U.S. Geological Survey,

"Arctic National Wildlife Refuge," U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,

"Oil and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge," Natural Resources Defense Council,

4) How does the Bush administration’s "Healthy Forests Initiative" (HFI) affect our national forests and old growth forests?

The HFI and other Bush administration forestry policies accelerate aggressive "thinning" of valuable trees across millions of acres of backcountry forests. Changes to the Sierra Framework increase logging rates in the Sierra Nevada by 300%. Weakening the "Roadless Area Conservation Rule" exposes up to 58.5 million acres of our most pristine national forests to logging and environmental disruption, including Alaska’s Tongass rainforest — one of the rarest ecosystems in the world.

Sources: "New forestry bill has environmentalists worried," Glen Martin, San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 2, 2003,

"Debunking the ‘Healthy Forests Initiative’," The Sierra Club,

"Learn About Wild Forests," U.S. PIRG,

5) Who is in charge of the stewardship of our national forests?

The US Department of Agriculture’s Mark Rey, who for nearly 20 years was a top lobbyist for the timber industry, is now the chief administrator responsible for the stewardship of 155 national forests.

Sources: "New forestry bill has environmentalists worried," Glen Martin, San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 2, 2003,

"Debunking the ‘Healthy Forests Initiative’," The Sierra Club,

"Learn About Wild Forests," U.S. PIRG,

"Meet Mark Rey," Native Forests Network,

6) When the Bush administration took office, the EPA’s revised new safety standards set the allowable arsenic levels in drinking water at 10 ppb (parts per billion).  Within how many months did the Bush administration roll the standard back to 50 ppb?

Two months.   Pending further study the Bush administration said, the 50 ppb standard — which is five times the international standard — was in effect in the US, to the economic benefit of the mining industry.  [After much public pressure the Bush Administration reversed the decision which means the Asernic levels of 10 ppb will go into effect January 23, 2006.] 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, arsenic in drinking water causes cancer of the skin, lungs, bladder and prostate in humans and is also linked to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, anemia, and disorders of the immune, nervous and reproductive systems.

EPA Office of Water, "Technical Fact Sheet: Proposed Rule for Arsenic in Drinking Water and Clarifications to Compliance
and New Source Contaminants Monitoring [EPA 815-F-00-011] ," May 2000.

"Bush Mandates Arsenic in Your Tap Water," Rachel Massey, Organic Consumers Association,

Environmental Protection Agency,

7) How many years of research, consideration, and review went into the EPA’s establishing the new safety standards for reducing arsenic levels in drinking water from 50 ppb to 10 ppb?

Over ten years.

In 1993, the World Health Organization (WHO) set 10 ppb as the recommended limit for arsenic in drinking water. The 15-nation European Union adopted 10 ppb as a mandatory standard for arsenic in drinking water in 1998. The WHO reports that even at 10 ppb there is an increased risk of cancer and other diseases.

Sources: World Health Organization, "Water, Sanitation and Health: Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality," information extracted from World Health Organization, GUIDELINES FOR DRINKING-WATER QUALITY , 2nd edition, Vol. 1 Geneva: World Health Organization, 1993, pgs. 41-42.

"Bush Mandates Arsenic in Your Tap Water," Rachel Massey, Organic Consumers Association,

8) How many acres of wetlands would no longer be protected from development and pollution under the Bush Administration’s proposal to end federal oversight of "isolated waters"?

20 million acres [the size of South Carolina], which is up to 20% of the US wetlands not including Alaska which would be opened to development and pollution, despite President Bush’s election campaign promises that there would be no net loss of wetlands under his administration.

Sources: "America’s Wetlands in Danger," National Wildlife Federation,

"Statement of Senator Bob Graham (D-FL), Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, and Water Hearing, June 10, 2003,"

Resource at risk: Isolated waters imperiled By Robert Montgomery, BASS Times, April 2003,

9) What share of "Superfund" toxic waste site cleanup costs are to be paid by corporate polluters under the Bush Administration, and how does this compare to the past?

In 1995, only 18% of the cost of the Superfund program came from taxpayer dollars.  Now polluting industries pay no tax to fund the cleanup of abandoned waste sites, and taxpayers are paying for 100% of the program. Under the Bush administration, the number of completed Superfund site cleanups has fallen by 50% compared with the pace of cleanups between 1997 and 2000.

Sources: Superfund Report: How the Bush Administration is Failing to Protect People's Health at Superfund Sites, July 27, 2004,

U.S. General Accounting Office, Superfund Program: Current Status and Future Funding Challenges, GAO-03-850, July, 2003,

U.S. EPA, Factsheet, "Superfund Trust Fund and Taxes: Setting the Record Straight," October 7, 2003

"Cleanup Slowdown: Superfund Sites Wait In Line For Cleanup," U.S. PIRG,

10) How many members of the 63-person Energy Task Force that President Bush and Vice President Cheney assembled to create our new National Energy Policy did not have ties to corporate energy interests?

Only one. Moreover, at the insistence of the White House, records of the Task Force’s behind-closed-doors proceedings remain secret despite repeated efforts to access them by the Government Accounting Office (GAO) and others. The GAO unsuccessfully sued the White House in an attempt to access the records, arguing that "allowing the Vice President to withhold basic factual information would also violate the principles of transparency and accountability that are essential elements of democracy."

Sources: "Fact Sheet of GAO’s Access Case," Government Accounting Office,

"Chronology of the GAO’s Attempts to Obtain Information from the National Energy Policy Development Group," GAO,

"The Bush-Cheney Energy Plan: Players, Profits and Paybacks," National Resource Defense Council,

"Getting the Ear Of Dick Cheney," Michael Weiskopf and Adam Zagorin, Time Magazine, Feb. 3, 2002,,8599,198862,00.html

11) How many countries strongly disagree with the Bush Administration’s claim that global warming is not a real threat?

One hundred countries including the nations of the European Union and Japan.

The National Academy of Sciences last year warned that global warming could trigger "large, abrupt and unwelcome" changes in our climate. The 2,500-member Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says average earth temperatures could rise as much as 10 degrees over the next century, the fastest rate in 10,000 years. Announcing that 2001 was the second hottest year on record, the World Meteorological Organization recently confirmed that "temperatures are getting hotter, and they are getting hotter faster now than at any time in the past."

The Bush administration’s position is to take no action to curb CO2 and other greenhouse gasses pending additional study. Further, the administration has stated that the US would not participate in the Kyoto Protocol, which is intended to implement the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). 


"Do the Math: White House Global Warming Plan Cooks the Books," National Resource Defense Council, Feb. 14, 2002,

12) What evidence do we have that global warming is real?


Since 1990, we've seen the ten hottest years on record, and since 1980, 19 of the hottest 20 years on record.


1998 was not only the hottest year of the millennium, it was also a record year for climate related disasters, including huge forest fires in Brazil, Mexico and the US; killer heat waves in the Middle east and India; the worst drought in seventy years in Mexico; flooding in China leaving 14 million homeless; and the massively destructive Hurricane Mitch in Central America.


According to the insurance giant, Munich Reinsurance, in the 1960's there were 16 climate related disasters; in the 1990s there were 70. The costs of climate related disasters, meanwhile, have doubled every decade, from $50 billion in the 1960s to nearly $400 billion in the 1990s.


Sources: Christian Aid - in depth, "Global warming, unnatural distasters and the world's poor"


National Resources Defence Council press release: "California Global Warming Emissions Rule: Legal Precedent Favors New Tailpipe Standard Despite Automaker Gripes". July 6, 2004,

13) Using the new "SUV tax break," how much can a small business deduct from its taxable income for purchasing one or more luxury SUVs?"

Up to $100,000 per year.

Source: "Businesses Jump on an SUV Loophole," Jonathan Weisman, Washington Post, Nov. 7, 2003,

14) What steps did the Bush administration take to increase the fuel efficiency standards for automobiles and to encourage consumers to purchase more fuel-efficient vehicles?

None. America’s average fuel efficiency for passenger vehicles is now at its lowest point in 21 years.

Sources: "Fuel Economy Guide," US Department of Energy, Oct. 2003,

"Bush Fuel Economy Numbers Show No Improvement At Best," Sierra Club, Oct. 3, 2003,

"Bush Fuel Economy Increase a Mere ‘Drop in the Barrel’," Alliance To Save Energy, Dec. 2002,

15) What grade did President Bush receive on the League of Conservation Voters 2003 presidential report card?

F.  Even lower than the D- he received on the 2002 presidential report card. According to the League of Conservation Voters, "Bush’s dismal Report Card is dominated by a disturbing trend: time after time, Bush favors corporate interests over the public’s interest in a clean, safe and healthy environment."

Source: "LCV Releases the 2003 Presidential Report Card," League of Conservation Voters,

16) Open: Do you feel it’s important to protect the environment?  What do you think would happen if there were no government restrictions on corporate use of the environment?

Please share this information face to face with as many others as possible based on as much commitment you can muster in yourself for your country, your fellow Americans and for the world.   For more referenced questions and answers please visit our website at: