The Democratic nominee to be for President, Massaschusetts Senator John Kerry, appeared in Tampa today to speak about the environment, and later raise money for his campaign.....

Speaking this morning from the photo-op friendly Ballast Point Park in South Tampa, in anticipation of Earth Day later this week, the Senator laid out a specific plan for the environment........He was enthusiastically introduced by the former Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, Florida native Carol Browner (roll tape#1 o.q."to be held accountable")

If there was an overarching theme to Kerry's speech, addressed to approximately 100 invitation only local Democrats and environmentalists- it was to emphasize that environmentalism and Development can work together (roll tape#2 o.q."we must do")

Later in his speech he again emphasized this point, saying that clean beaches means more money for the Sunshine State's Tourism industry (roll tape #3 o.q. of the people of Florida")

The Bush Administration has been severely criticized on its environmental policy,

Including from several career people at the EPA who have stepped down in protest, specifically regarding the lack of enforcement of New Source Review, which has allowed older and dirtier power plants to largely avoid cleaner technology...

Bush's first EPA Secretary, former New Jersey Governor Christie Todd Whitman, resigned last year as well, though she denied her decision had anything to do with policy.......Senator Kerry mocked the names of some of the Bush Administration's environmental initiatives (roll tape#3 o.q."if they're lucky enough to catch them")

A new Poll released last night by CNN & the USA Today shows President Bush with a 5 percentage Point ............Some conservative critics - such as Rush Limbaugh today - charge that Kerry has not given a compelling message for people to vote for him, other than a vote AGAINST George W. Bush.....But Kerry today laid out a specific blue print regarding his environment policy if elected in November (roll tape#5 o.q."and our health")

His other plans are to create a Federal and State partnership to address pollution threats such as stormwater runoff and runoff of excess fertizler and pesticides...And to provide local communities to protect coastal ecosystems and for "smart " coastal developments.....

After his speech, the Senator spoke at a fundraising Lunch at the Wyndham Marriot Hotel, where he was expected to raise several hundred thousand dollars.

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