Environmental group says to vote \"no\" on two amendments

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COLUMBIA - An environmental group will meet tonight at 7 p.m. at the Daniel Boone Regional Library to explain why it opposes two Missouri constitutional amendments that will be voted on by the public.

Sierra Club Board Member Carolyn Amparan said the group opposes Amendment 1, dealing with farming rights, and Amendment 7, which would enact a sales tax for transportation funding. 

Amparan said the group thinks the "right to farm" amendment could be used to overturn existing or future environmental protection laws in the state of Missouri, which would jeopardize the organization's mission.

Amparan said the Sierra Club doesn't agree with the transportation tax amendment because the money would be used predominantly to fund highway projects rather than forms of alternative transportation. She said expanding highways could lead to urban sprawl. This makes people more dependent on cars powered by gasoline, which is harmful to the environment.

Further, the tax does not apply to gasoline, which Amparan said subsidizes gas-guzzling vehicles.

The meeting is being held for members of the Sierra Club to educate them on the organization's views. The presentation will also go over strategies for club members to use when talking about these issues with friends, family, and the general public.

Missouri citizens will have the chance to vote on the ballot measures Aug. 5.