Activists hard to impress on candidates' environmental positions
Published: September 27, 2012
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Given their knowledge of Catholic social teaching on the environment, those who make it their stock in trade to promote stewardship of the earth using Catholic principles say the two major presidential candidates' positions on environmental issues leave something to be desired. "Like many issues of concern to the Catholic community, neither President (Barack) Obama nor Governor (Mitt) Romney seem to give climate change or environmental justice the serious attention these issues deserve," said Dan Misleh, executive director of the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change. "But the same could be said of reducing poverty, ending abortion and the death penalty and so on." Holy Cross Brother David Andrews, a senior representative for the Washington-based think tank Food and Water Watch, noted that both candidates are supporters of hydraulic fracturing, a process by which water is injected into rock to release natural gas. "The organization I work for, Food and Water Watch, opposes hydraulic fracking, wants to ban hydraulic fracking, is opposed to both candidates' positions," Brother Andrews said. "Fracking" is the colloquial term for the process. Opponents say it has the potential to contaminate ground water and affect air quality. "So far in the election, the quality of the environment is really not on the map," said Walt Grazer, a consultant for the National Religious Partnership on the Environment and a former director of the U.S. bishops' environmental justice program. "Whether that changes between now and the election, or in the debates, remains to be seen." Grazer gave credit to the Catholic bishops for keeping the environment on their national agenda. "They call it a moral issue, protecting the earth and the environment."
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