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This Super Tuesday, "It's the Environment, Stupid!"

February 5, 2008

Santa Fe, NM - The Democratic candidates have been drawing huge crowds in New Mexico in the past week, and now the big day is finally here. As party caucus sites open at noon today, green groups are encouraging voters to remember the environment when they make their choice.

Brent Blackwelder with Friends of the Earth says this year all the big issues are connected to the bigger problem of global warming. He says New Mexico's renewable resources could boost the economy and reduce the need for foreign oil all while staying "green."

"You're looking at a state with tremendous solar and wind potential and it's a much better route to go than nuclear power."

He says both Democrats have good plans for fighting global warming. On the Republican side, he says, the only candidate with a significant plan is John McCain.

Blackwelder acknowledges the nuclear industry's significant presence in New Mexico. He doesn't believe some of the problems with getting rid of nuclear waste can ever be solved, but he says the Democratic candidates are still on the fence on the nuclear issue.

"Both of the Democrats in this case, though they've not ruled out nuclear power as an option, do not favor going that route unless you can solve various significant problems."

He says nuclear energy requires big subsidies, and that the same amount of money would go much further if invested in renewable energies instead.

Democratic caucus sites will be open around the state from noon to 7 p.m.

Eric Mack/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - NM