'/> Uncommon Hours: The environmental president?!
Blogging on culture, politics, and the environment since 2008.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The environmental president?!


"Since 2001, we have put common-sense policies in place, and I can say upon departure, our air is cleaner, our water is purer, and our lands are better protected."
—President George W. Bush, who threw his shoulder out as he reached over to pat himself on the back following his announcement of a new maritime sanctuary in the Pacific.

Not so fast, Mr. President! You've run the most environmentally hostile administration of modern times, attempting to undo conservation efforts that go all the way back to the Theodore Roosevelt administration.

Let’s review:
  • The Arctic Wildlife National Refuge has been a target for drilling since you took office. “Drill, baby, drill” wasn’t a spontaneous inspiration of the McCain campaign. Under the 110th Congress, at least 24 drilling proposals were put forward, all of which you were eager to sign. Fortunately, a few sane Republicans joined the minority Democrats to protect the ANWR from devastation.

  • In the eleventh-hour of your administration, you gutted the Endangered Species Act, which has protected vulnerable wildlife for over thirty years.

  • Soon after you took office, Vice President Darth assembled a klatch of oil executives to develop an energy policy that to this day no one can (or will) elucidate, but which clearly amounted to the most brazen case of lobbying inside the White House in American history.

  • Kyoto Protocol – not so much.

  • Millions of acres of public lands have been sold off for drilling and mining during your administration. (I can’t count the number of petitions from the Wilderness Society and other groups that I’ve signed during your administration to prevent these reckless sales of sensitive regions.)

  • Roadless rules to protect our national forests from ravaging by ATVs, loggers, and those whacko Jeepsters in the TV commercials who think our public lands are roller coaster rides: gone with the pristine forest winds in 2005.

  • You have advocated throughout your tenure for building more nuclear plants, even going so far as to recommend using spent fuel, an untested and potentially dangerous technology. (And let’s not forget Yucca Mountain!)

  • And not last or least, your administration has systematically misled the public by suppressing and editing the work on climate change by scientists like Dr. James Hansen of NASA.

Your track record, Mr. President, is nothing short of abysmal.

So yes, it’s great that a vast marine sanctuary has been established in the Pacific--which you transparently did for your legacy and not because you care about the planet--but this hardly evens the balance sheet on the environment of the past eight years. Not even close.

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