In response to Will Caldwell's important letter regarding Sen. Barack Obama's stance on conservation issues, I am compelled to offer a clarification and further my endorsement of the senator for the Feb. 5 Idaho Democratic Caucus.
Sen. Obama supports reforming the outdated 1872 Mining Law, but opposes specific details in recent reform attempts. Sen. Obama believes that the recent House bill raised royalty rates too high and too soon. Commonsense legislation will encourage mining companies to perform the best clean-ups, while also providing fair reclamation policies for mining-dependent communities like Elko, Winnemucca and Ely. Rewriting a Civil War-era law must be done carefully, balancing 21st century priorities with business realities.
The League of Conservation Voters gives Barack Obama the highest possible rating for a senator (100 percent). His pro-environmental voting record is unblemished. Obama made the correct, conservation-minded votes on issues ranging from his opposition to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, to his rejection of insufficient, Republican-rigged environmental funding bills.
As a Democratic leader in Boise, I am confident in my support for Barack Obama and encourage Blaine County voters to join me in caucusing for the senator at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 5, 2008, at the Community Campus in Hailey.
Rep. Wendy Jaquet