Bush's Assault on the Environment

March 2003

Some have called the Bush Administration the most anti-environmental administration in the history of the United States. While that may be up to debate, it seems like every day there is a new assault on our air, water, and wilderness.

Clean Air
In July 2002, President Bush unveiled his "Clear Skies Initiative."
Environmentalists denounced the move as a smokescreen for more pollution.

Clean Water
In May 2001 the Bush Administration suspended new arsenic-in-tap-water standards, which would have lowered the amount of arsenic in drinking water. The regulations, 25 years in the planning, would have reduced cancer rates and brought the United States in line with the water-purity standards of the rest of the developed world.

Environmental Protection Agency
Agency director Christine Todd Whitman claims to be one of the few true environmentalists in the Bush Administration.
But she has also been snared in a conflict-of-interest scandal.

On Aug 22, 2002, Bush announced his Healthy Forests Initiative to increase timber sales by curtailing or eliminating administrative appeals and lawsuits. It also proposes legislation to authorize use of long-term "stewardship contracts" for fuels treatments and restoration projects.
Predictably, environmentalists have criticized the initiative as yet another attempt by the administration to aid business at the expense of the environment.

Fuel Efficiency
Bush Abandons Fuel Efficiency For New Technology.
Bush tax cut proposal would give business owners who buy huge-assed SUVs a 50 percent increase in deduction.
Detroit Project Tell Detroit their gas-guzzlers help terrorists buy guns.

Global Warming
Bush pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol (global warming) and dropped his earlier plan to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant. Both actions save the energy industry astounding sums of money.

National Energy Policy
Bush's National Energy Policy, developed in consultation with industry, included many proposals that would boost energy companies: drilling in the Arctic National wildlife refuge, expanded petroleum and electricity transmission and tax incentives for producing alternative fuels. The policy has been controversial and scandal-tinged, to say the least.

Oil Drilling
Last year the Democratic-led U.S. Senate defeated Bush's proposal to let oil companies drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. But he'll be back!

Superfund Program
Bush has slashed funds for the Superfund cleanup program and wants to shift the funding burden from corporate polluters to taxpayers for what's left of the program.

Think Tanks
When it comes to eco-issues, Bush draws his guiding principles from a pair of conservative think tanks: the Montana-based Political Economy Research Center and Washington, D.C.'s Reason Foundation. The biggest environmental problem facing the United States, according to the published treatises of the groups, is too much federal regulation. The solution? Jettison national environmental laws. Quit prosecuting corporate polluters. Make local authorities handle environmental matters.

Bush Plan Could Take Much of the Wild Out of Wilderness

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