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Environmentalists Arrested at EPA

April 19th, 2001

WASHINGTON, DC -- The Executive Director of Greenpeace, John Passacantando, the president of Rainforest Action Network, Randy Hayes, and nearly a dozen other activists locked themselves inside of the main entrance of the Environmental Protection Agency today. This protest was the latest in a series of pre-Earth Day activities against Bush's recent greenwashing of his anti- environmental agenda. All were arrested.

''We've taken our message from President Bush's ranch, to the White House and now to the EPA,'' said John Passacantando, Greenpeace Executive Director. ''We want this Toxic Texan to know that trashing 30 years of environmental gains, then making a few token green announcements for Earth Day is an unacceptable environmental agenda.''

Today's protest is the third Greenpeace action in less than a week. On Friday, April 13th, Greenpeace activists scaled a water tower in Bush's adopted hometown of Crawford, Texas and unfurled a banner reading ''Bush-the Toxic Texan-Don't Mess With the Earth.'' Yesterday, the international environmental group hosted a ''Take Back the Earth Day'' rally that featured speakers from across the nation.

''The environmental community is shocked at how much damage one president can propose in less than 100 days,'' continued Passacantando. ''Even President Reagan took four years to propose his short sighted environmental agenda and trash the earth.''

Among the many assaults Bush has made to the environment in less than 100 days are:

  • Reversing a campaign pledge to limit carbon dioxide pollution from power plants;

  • Cutting a budget for renewable energy programs;

  • Support for logging and the development on 60 million acres of untouched national forests;

  • Plans to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration and drilling;

  • Slashing the EPA's enforcement budget.

In an effort to put a positive spin on his environmental record, President Bush yesterday expressed support for the international treaty to phase out of a dozen highly toxic and persistent chemicals known as persistent organic pollutants, or POPs.

''It's easy for Bush to say he supports the treaty, but real signal of commitment to reducing these dangerous chemicals will be when he fights to get the treaty ratified through Congress,'' said Passacantando.

CONTACT: Kymberly Escobar (202) 319-2494.