Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Our "War President": The war against the environment 

Jim Florio via the Newark Star Ledger opines:

President Bush's proposal to cut spending at the Environmental Protection Agency by more than 7 percent is one more reminder of something we are coming to know all too well. It seems that hardly a week goes by without some new environmentally degrading policy initiative from Washington.

But the obvious impact of each dangerous policy act masks the even more serious structural damage quietly being done to the nation's system of environmental protection. One clear example of this phenomenon is the recent issuance of a rule that would limit inspections of polluting industrial smokestacks.

Such sources of pollution are regulated under the Clean Air Act. Periodic inspections of potential polluters by state and federal officials are the best way to ensure compliance with the law : if you get caught, you're in trouble. But now, Washington is limiting the current requirement of at least two inspections every five years to no more than two inspections every five years.

Limiting pollution testing at industrial facilities will, in effect, establish a new approach to environmental law. Under such an approach, for example, a state would not be allowed to be more vigilent than the federal government. Federal law would effectively pre-empt the ability of states to be more protective of their citizens than is currently the case. If the law is to be changed, let the law so be changed -- but don't change it on the sly through regulatory modifications and redefinitions out of sight of the general public.

We should not be surprised by this environmental policy-making sleight-of-hand. It has become a regular feature in Washington over the past three years. At least Newt Gingrich was forthright in wanting to repeal many environmental laws, but he was killed politically for his effort. His ideological successors are clever enough not to risk head-on assaults. Rather, they conjure up measures designed to effectively repeal laws without the public relations burden of doing it in accordance with the Constitution.

Adherence to the letter of the law has traditionally been thought of as a hallmark of conservatism. But when it comes to protecting the environment, this administration is anything but conservative. That shouldn't be a surprise either. People who have no compunctions about making up reasons to go to war are not about to let a little thing like the law stand in the way of radical policies that help some make profits but threaten our right to clean air and clean water.

What he said....

corrente SBL - New Location
~ Since April 2010 ~

~ Since 2003 ~

The Washington Chestnut
~ current ~

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]


copyright 2003-2010

    This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?