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POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Forbes Blames Nature For Acid Rain, Too

January 31, 1996

BOSTON (AP) _ Republican presidential candidate Steve Forbes blames both nature and pollution from power plants in the Midwest for harmful acid rain that falls over New England states.

``It turns out a lot of it is created by nature, not by smokestacks,″ the multimillionaire publisher told the Boston Globe in an interview Tuesday while traveling through Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Reminded of the criticism former President Reagan got for saying some pollution is caused by trees, Forbes said, ``I’m not sure about trees, but I do know there is a lot we don’t know about what causes some environmental problems.″

``You still have a huge debate now on global warming, on acid rain, so I think a little humility is in order,″ he said. ``I would examine the evidence and take a Missouri attitude of `show me.‴

Forbes also said he would rein in what he called the ``excesses″ of the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that review the nation’s environmental regulations.

``Too often emotionalism triumphs over science,″ Forbes told the newspaper. ``You saw that with Alar and the apples six years ago where a whole industry was nearly destroyed over a bogus study.″

In that case, the EPA banned the growth hormone for use on food in 1989, seven months after ``60 Minutes″ ran a story citing a study that Alar posed a high risk of cancer, particularly to children. A federal appeals court in 1995 rejected a lawsuit filed against the TV program by apple growers, saying they couldn’t prove the statements made in the report were false.


Bob Dole may get a glimpse of Old Man Ale after all.

The Republican presidential candidate’s campaign had cancelled his trip today to the Nutfield Brewing Co. in Derry, N.H., that brews the ale because his aides didn’t like the ``Old Man″ connection.

Dole’s age, 72, has become a campaign issue with his GOP rivals calling him too old to compete against President Clinton in November.

But when New Hampshire Gov. Steve Merrill, Dole’s primary campaign chairman, heard about the cancellation he stepped in and Dole agreed to visit the Old Man Ale brewers after all, The Union Leader reported.

Merrill said he called the brewing company and apologized then rescheduled the visit for this afternoon with Dole’s approval.

James Killeen, president of Nutfield Brewing, said, ``It appears that his campaign staff may have felt uncomfortable with the connotation associated with our newest product _ Old Man Ale.″

The brew is named after the Old Man of the Mountain, the state’s emblem, a natural stone profile of a man’s face in Franconia Notch State Park.

Barbara Riley, a Dole staffer, said the cancellation was ``a poor staff decision,″ adding Dole ``realizes the Old Man of the Mountain is a great New Hampshire symbol.″

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