Experts Blast Bush
Environmental Rollbacks

Leaders of 13 national environmental groups -- from Friends of the Earth to Republicans for Environmental Protection -- marked the eve of America's 35th Earth Day by calling on President Bush to halt his administration's unprecedented rollbacks of the entire panoply of laws and regulations that protect the nation's air, water, natural resources and public health.
"The Bush Administration continues to allow big corporations to weaken our environmental laws so they can pollute our air and poison our water, cut down our national forests and make taxpayers -- rather than polluters -- pay to clean up toxic wastes," said Gene Karpinski, executive director of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, at a Washington, DC press conference.
Speakers rattled off a seemingly endless stream of environmental and health protections being undermined by the Bush Administration, from a polluter-friendly energy bill to suppression or distortion of federal scientific analyses. Referring to the latter, Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists said "This pattern of behavior is widespread, affecting issues from climate change and air pollution to forests, endangered species, reproductive and workplace health, and nuclear weapons policy."
Noting that the Endangered Species Act (ESA) "is a safety net..the checks and balances part of the conservation equation," Jamie Rappaport Clark, executive vice president of Defenders of Wildlife, said President Bush "has literally set record for abuse of the Act." While President Reagan added an average of nearly 32 new ESA listings each year, and President Bush's father averaged 58 per year, the current president has averaged only eight per year -- and every one of them by court order.
"The Republican Party has an obligation to do better," said Martha Marks, president of Republicans for Environmental Protection. Recalling that "Republicans helped create the environmental movement," Marks said "That made us proud. But we are not proud of our leaders today." Instead of extending a record of responsible stewardship, "They have chosen an ideological path."
Decrying the Bush Administration's "shameful and abysmal record on clean water," Brent Blackwelder, president of Friends of the Earth, said "Bush has given the OK to allow mining companies to dump waste directly into waterways; destroy over 20 million acres of wetlands; pump untreated sewage directly into our nation's rivers, lakes and other waters; and pollute with impunity because they don't enforce the law -- with the result that 60 percent of industrial facilities nationwide are now in violation of Clean Water Act discharge limits." Moreover, added Blackwelder, the administration has proposed cutting half a billion dollars from sewage plant construction.
Several reports and a new TV ad, were released at the press conference.
The TV ad, dramatizing the administration's auctioning off of America's public resources, will air in Albuquerque, Columbus (Ohio), Concord and Manchester (NH), Lansing (Michigan), Raleigh (NC), Tallahassee and Washington, DC. For details, see
Copyright © 2003 Environmental Media Services



This Site Served by TheHostPros