Voting to kill Flipper

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 1995:

WASHINGTON D.C.––“The attempt to gut the Marine
Mammal Protection Act [by repealing dolphin-safe tuna import standards,
as reported on page one of the November 1995 ANIMAL PEOPLE],
backed by the Clinton/Gore Administration, the wise-use movement, and
a handful of conservation groups, is floundering on Capitol Hill,” Craig
Van Nolte of the Monitor conservation, environmental, and animal welfare
consortium told member organization lobbyists on November 14.
“Senator Ted Stevens and Don Young, the two Alaska
Republicans who are pushing the legislation, are finding virtually no
backers. As one key Congressional staffer observed, ‘Who wants to be
seen voting to kill Flipper?’ Sources report that major political and financial
supporters of the Administration are denouncing the dolphin sell-out
in written and face-to-face communications with both President Bill
Clinton and Vice President Albert Gore. White House political operatives
on the West Coast are warning that the scheme could poison political support
in next year’s election. The White House has opened a major backchannel
operation with Stevens and Young in recent months,” Van Nolte
continued, “in an effort to save the Commerce Department and to gut the
MMPA. The two powerful Alaskans are actively helping block the killCommerce
legislation being pushed by radical House Republicans;


Alaska depends mightily on the fisheries and weather services provided by
Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This
unholy alliance is being exploited for the anti-MMPA campaign by
Administration officials.”
Meanwhile, Van Nolte added, “The five conservation groups
backing the dolphin sellout,” the World Wildlife Fund, Greenpeace,
Center for Marine Conservation, National Wildlife Federation, and
Environmental Defense Fund, “are in growing disarray as result of mounting
criticism from members, the public, and staff.”
Greenpeace, WWF, and EDF, Van Nolte said, “are conducting
major internal reconsiderations of the positions that their trade staffers
slavishly committed to after secret meetings wth the Mexican,
Venezuelan, and Columbian governments––and the Clinton/Gore administration––last
summer.”

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