Friends of the Earth Action endorses Tom Allen for Senate

Allen called a consistent supporter of clean air, clean water and clean energy; Collins has frequently sided with Bush and special interests

Friends of the Earth Action today endorsed Congressman Tom Allen for Senate, saying there is a significant difference between his consistent support for environmental protection and fair trade and incumbent Senator Susan Collins’ frequent votes against these principles.

“Maine residents deserve an A voter in the Senate, not someone who scores a C- through her career but then gets green the year before an election,” said Dr. Brent Blackwelder, President of Friends of the Earth Action. “Far too often, Susan Collins has sided with special interests and George Bush—and against the health of the planet. Tom Allen is a strong supporter of clean air, clean water, clean energy and fair trade. He has earned our endorsement.”

According to the League of Conservation Voters, Allen has a 92 percent pro-environment lifetime voting record, but Collins has a lifetime record of only 69 percent, Blackwelder said.

Allen’s track record includes opposition to the Bush-Cheney Energy Bill of 2005 with its billions for Big Oil, which Collins supported. Allen has been a leader on clean energy and is an original cosponsor of the Safe Climate Act (H.R. 1590), one of the best bills yet offered on climate change in the House of Representatives. Allen is also a recognized leader on ocean pollution issues, writing successful legislation to create a comprehensive ocean observing system and to monitor ocean acidification.

Allen is also a strong supporter of fair trade, Blackwelder said:

“There are big differences between Allen and Collins on a central issue for Friends of the Earth Action—global trade agreements. Unjust agreements have led to a race to the bottom in environmental and workplace standards, causing outsourcing to businesses that tolerate sweatshops, and facilitating natural resource exploitation. Allen has consistently opposed these bad trade deals. Collins has not.”

Collins supported the Peru free trade agreement as well as “fast-track” negotiating authority for the president, which Friends of the Earth Action opposed. She has been ambiguous about how she will vote on the deeply flawed Colombia Free Trade Agreement. Allen on the other hand has pledged to “put a stop to trade deals that benefit the multinational corporations at the expense of Maine workers” and has consistently voted against bad agreements.

Collins and Allen also differ on strongly on judicial nominations, with Collins voting to confirm all of President Bush’s Supreme Court nominees.

“The future of the Supreme Court is one of the most crucial issues for those of us focused on clean air, clean water and the climate crisis,” said Friends of the Earth Action board member and Maine resident Michael Herz. “Unfortunately Susan Collins voted to confirm both of George Bush’s right-wing Supreme Court nominees, jeopardizing numerous environmental protections.”

Justices John Roberts and Sam Alito, both of whom Collins voted to confirm, have already sided against the environment in major decisions including Mass v. EPA, Rapanos v. United States and Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker.

Collins also voted to confirm Gale Norton as Bush’s Secretary of Interior. Norton has turned out to be one of the most anti-environment secretaries in our nation’s history.

Finally, Collins and Allen differ significantly on the Iraq war, which Friends of the Earth Action strongly opposed. Collins voted for the war and has supported the disastrous Iraq policies of President Bush and Vice President Cheney. Allen was one of only 133 House members to oppose using military force in Iraq.

“In all of these areas, Tom Allen has been an advocate for the health of Maine’s people and the planet,” Herz said. “We are proud to support his candidacy for the U.S. Senate.”

Michael Herz, 207-563-5435 (landline) or 207-841-9344 (mobile)
Brent Blackwelder, 202-222-0727

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