Gubernatorial candidates speak at environmental conference

Photo courtesy Alan Collins
Photo courtesy Alan Collins

By Alan Collins

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -  The two main candidates for governor in Alabama talked green issues Thursday.

Robert Bentley and Ron Sparks addressed a conference sponsored by Auntie Litter's Take Pride Statewide program at Samford University.

"I want them to take ownership of Take Pride of Alabama and use in their campaign," Pat "Auntie Litter" Mitchell said.

Bentley and Sparks both promised to hold BP accountable to cleanup Alabama beaches and to fund those harmed by the gulf oil spill.

"You can be assured as the Governor of Alabama I will stay in their hip pocket," Sparks said. "Not only till they clean it up but until Alabama becomes the state it was before, I want it to become better."

"I want you all to buy BP gasoline because we want hem to stay in business," Bentley said. "We want them to be able to fund the cleanup and things they have to fund."

Both candidates talked about conservation and recycling. Bentley wants to start a recycling  program for ink and toner cartridges.

"If you rethink the ink and refill these we would save a million dollars," Bentley said.

Sparks said, as agriculture commissioner, he has a record of protecting people and the environment, such as with the food labeling program.

"I don't mind where you buy food," Sparks said. "That's your privilege. But I want you to know where it comes from."

Both men made strong pitches to protect the environment. Auntie Litter wants to hold them to the those promises if they become governor.

"If you don't have clean and healthy Alabama nothing else matters," Mitchell said.

The conference at Samford University drew hundreds of attendees from more than 100 local governments and businesses, all looking to find new ways to protect the environment.

Previous keynote speakers include actor Ed Begley, Jr., Senator Jeff Sessions, State Senator Jabo Waggoner, Bart Starr and Pat Dye.

The two day conference wrapped up Thursday.

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