Frustrated PA groups turn to the public

WASHINGTON: The Sierra Club is preparing a major PR campaign in

response to President Bush's sudden U-turn on his election pledge to

seek tighter restrictions on carbon dioxide emission, an alleged

contributor to global warming.

The President's change of heart last week followed discussions with oil

and coal industry lobbyists.

Daniel Weiss, political director for the Sierra Club, said the group

would be counting on the American public to exert pressure on the

president and members of Congress. 'We're sending information to people

all over the country to get them to care about the environment,' he

said. 'Bush will find he has be to responsive.'

This is the latest in a series of policy decisions that have frustrated

lobbyists and public affairs groups representing traditionally

Democratic causes.

Two weeks ago, Congress swiftly repealed landmark ergonomics reform

enacted by former President Clinton and made virtually no mention of

gun-control legislation following a student's shooting spree in Santee,


These moves were a slap in the face of interest groups that only weeks

ago held considerable sway over the White House. In the case of

ergonomics, the AFL-CIO did much to advocate reform but had little input

into Congress' repeal of it. 'We knew it was coming, but they allowed no

time at all for public debate,' said Peg Seminario, AFL-CIO director of

occupational health and safety.

Michael Barnes, president of the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, was

quoted by The Washington Post last week as saying that following the

Hill's lack of outrage at the Santee shootings, his organization would

become 'more active on the state level than before.'

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