Posts tagged: Bush administration

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Bush administration


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Everyone has The Right To Breathe clean air. Watch a video featuring Earthjustice Attorney Jim Pew and two Pennsylvanians—Marti Blake and Martin Garrigan—who know firsthand what it means to live in the shadow of a coal plant's smokestack, breathing in daily lungfuls of toxic air for more than two decades.

Coal Ash Contaminates Our Lives. Coal ash is the hazardous waste that remains after coal is burned. Dumped into unlined ponds or mines, the toxins readily leach into drinking water supplies. Watch the video above and take action to support federally enforceable safeguards for coal ash disposal.

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View Ted Zukoski's blog posts
20 May 2008, 2:45 PM
 

Aah, summer!  Time to hit the road and visit some our crown jewel national parks here in the West.  It's time to enjoy the trees, the canyons, the birds, bees, and bears, the ranger talks, the smog. 

The smog?  Yep, get ready for it.  Because if the EPA has its way, the tremendous views from Mesa Verde, Zion, and other national parks will become more obscured with haze.

View Tom Turner's blog posts
28 April 2008, 11:39 AM
 

We don't get very many comments here at Tom's Turn—please comment!—so when we do, we pay attention. To this one, for example, from Brenda Hixenbaugh:

"Considering the track records of certain officials, isn't it time that we get people elected who are directly connected to all of this planet's and our needs? Surely there are a great number of environmentalists who are qualified for all of these jobs, up to and not excluding the presidency?"

A very good question. The answer, of course, is yes and no. Politics, as they say, is the art of the possible, the art of compromise. As my mentor, Dave Brower, always said, environmentalists ought to be nearly absolute in their policies and positions and leave the compromising to the politicians.

View Tom Turner's blog posts
17 April 2008, 4:12 PM
 

"Some courts are taking laws written more than 30 years ago to primarily address local and regional environmental effects, and applying them to global climate change. The Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act were never meant to regulate global climate change." —George W. Bush, April 16, 2008

The Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act—enacted with bipartisan support and signed by a Republican president, Richard Nixon—were most definitely not meant "to primarily address local and regional environmental effects." The statement makes no sense.

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View Tom Turner's blog posts
08 April 2008, 12:19 PM
 

What's the best expression to describe the Bush administration these days? Pig-headed? Stubborn? Incorrigible? Mulish? Headstrong? Dogged? Intractable, Recalcitrant, Rigid? Willful? Indeed, all those adjectives apply to the outgoing (not soon enough) Bush administration, particularly with respect to its environmental activities. A handful of illustrations.

A year ago, the Supreme Court ruled that greenhouse-gas emissions from vehicles are pollutants that the Environmental Protection Agency must regulate. The EPA has refused. More litigation is underway to force action, but if the Supremes can be ignored one wonders what's the point. Pig-headed, meaning no disrespect to swine.

Up in the Arctic, the administration has missed several self-imposed deadlines to announce its decision whether to protect polar bears. During the delay time, the administration sold leases for oil drilling in the bears' Chukchi Sea habitat. When Senator Barbara Boxer asked Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne to explain to her committee what was going on, he simply refused to appear. Incorrigible.

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View Tom Turner's blog posts
01 April 2008, 10:46 AM
 

The Bush administration, highly placed sources have revealed exclusively to Tom's Turn, is putting the final touches on one last, sweeping reorganization of the federal environmental bureaucracy. Elements of the plan include:

  • Selling the national parks in order to reduce the national debt and prop up the investment banking system and hedge fund operators. Existing concessionnaires will be given preference, followed by Disney and other theme-park operators. The Saudi royal family, it is said, might take over the national monument in Oklahoma where oil was first discovered.
  • Giving the national forests to the timber industry. Why not sell them? An anonymous administration spokesman said, "We've been selling the trees on the national forests at a loss for decades; why would anyone expect us to ask to turn a profit on those lands now?"
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View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
25 March 2008, 1:08 PM
 

Six years after the head of the Environmental Protection Agency resigned because of political interference, almost every EPA employee is begging the current administrator to quit—as in, quit letting politics drive agency decisions.

The 10,000 employees publicly accused Administrator Stephen L. Johnson of ignoring their advice as well as scientific principles in his eagerness to appease political and private sector interests. What really galled them is his refusal to let California regulate global warming emissions from vehicles. But, they cited other examples of how Johnson has sullied the agency and its mission since he took over in 2005—including decisions on mercury from coal plants and on pesticide regulations that Earthjustice is litigating.

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View Tom Turner's blog posts
26 February 2008, 6:01 PM
 

Sometimes, not often enough but sometimes, the bad guys get their just deserts. (And yes, that's deserts not desserts in case you wondered. But I digress.)

...the next 11 months promise to be even worse than the last 85!

By my oh-so-sophisticated calculations we have now endured 85 months of the Bush assault on our environmental laws, our environmental agencies, and our environment itself.

That leaves eleven months to go, and the administration seems hell-bent on ratcheting up the pace of its assault as the public becomes a tad outrage-weary and hopes that whoever eventually wins a ticket to the White House can't possibly be as bad as what we've suffered through for seven long years.

Do I exaggerate? Here's a bit of what happened in Month 85:

View Ted Zukoski's blog posts
19 February 2008, 4:32 PM
 

The Bush Administration's hostility to environmental protection is not news. But seeing the numbers in black and white (or, as in this chart, in red and green) is startling. Created by the Appropriations Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, it shows that the President's budget for the Interior Department—which manages national parks, national wildlife refuges, and endangered species protection—was cut by a sixth in real dollars over the last eight years. By the same measure, EPA's budget has been cut by more than a quarter, and the Forest Service saw its budget aside from fire-fighting cut by more than a third.

View Tom Turner's blog posts
29 January 2008, 11:36 AM
 

I'm writing this a few hours before the State of the Union is assessed (for the last time!) by President Bush, so can't be sure of what he'll say. But if I were writing it for him (fat chance), here's what I'd say, cribbing heavily from Eileen Appelbaum, Dean Baker, and John Schmitt of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC.

Their idea is that we—the government, that is—direct the upcoming and inevitable economic stimulus package toward programs to tackle climate disruption. Sure makes sense to me. The specific proposals include a generous tax credit for installing energy efficient improvements for homes or businesses. A no-brainer, they say, partly because it would re-employ many workers recently laid off as the housing market collapsed.