Sierra Club Ads Attack Bush on Environmental Positions

By Jerry Miller | July 7, 2008 | 8:25 PM EDT

Manchester, NH ( - The Sierra Club is using television and radio advertisements in New Hampshire to attack Texas Governor George W Bush for his environmental record in Texas.

The ad will run this week on television and radio stations in the more heavily populated areas of this first-in-the-nation primary state.

The 30-second ad features an 11-year-old Texas boy, who suffers from asthma. It explains that William Tinker used to live down-wind from a hazardous waste burning cement plant in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The Sierra Club ad says efforts to get Bush to force the facility to reduce the level of air pollution failed, forcing the child's family, which includes other children with asthma, to move.

The ad says the number of smog alert days in Texas has increased dramatically since Bush became governor. "The health of more kids has been put at risk and 11-year-old Billy Tinker's asthma got worse," an announcer intones. "Call George W. Bush," the ad says, providing a phone number. "Tell him it's time to clear the air for our families and for Billy Tinker's future."

According to the Sierra Club ad, a city of Houston study shows air pollution has caused 435 premature deaths and more than 1,100 new cases of chronic bronchitis a year.

Sierra Club spokesman Carl Pope said, "Air pollution in Texas has gotten worse over the last five years and Gov. Bush has done little to solve the crisis. Thousands of Texas children, seniors and other vulnerable people continue to have their health threatened by the worst air pollution in the country. That's why we are running these ads, to call on the governor to take concrete comprehensive steps to attack the clean air crisis in Texas."

"We're thinking maybe we can get the people in New Hampshire to get him to clean up Texas, because our ability to get him to clean up the problems in Texas has failed," added the group's Daniel Weiss.

A spokesman for the governor said the Sierra Club should be praising the Bush record, insisting he was the first governor to get the power industry to voluntarily reduce air pollution from plants that had been grandfathered into the clean air legislation of the 1970s.

Environmentalists respond that the plants should be closed.