Friday, September 5, 2008

BushCo vs. the planet - same old same old

One of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite Texans goes like this:
There are three things you never want to see:
  • Water coming out of your electrical sockets.
  • Flames shooting out of your sock drawer.
  • A press release coming out of the White House that begins: "The Bush administration today announced revised standards for..."
- Jim Hightower - Thieves In High Places
Jim is right, as usual. As proof, I offer this.

The stated purpose of the proposed rule "Amending the Formats of the Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants" is to enhance the clarity of the lists of endangered and threatened species. However, the rule's title and its complicated legalese disguise the fact that it instead proposes regulatory changes would make significant changes in the way endangered species are listed and habitat is protected.

If in place at the time, this rule may have stopped the listing and protection of the bald eagle, Canada lynx, grizzly bear, brown pelican, the gray wolf and the jaguar. The proposed rule narrowly defines "the geographic area where the species is listed for purposes of the Act." This deceptively simple change could be interpreted to limit the area that endangered species will be protected only to their current range, which is usually drastically smaller than their historic range.

Of course it's hardly the first time Bush has quietly moved to undercut the law of the land by executive fiat. And between John McCain's silence on Bush's gutting of the ESA and his attempts to ridicule as wasteful a Montana Grizzly Bear study that is likely to save the government millions of dollars on the one hand, and Sarah Palin's attempts to block protection for Polar Bears on the other - not to mention their mutual obsession with promoting offshore drilling - there's ample evidence that under four more years of the Republican regime, things would be likely to continue going from bad to worse for the environment. Like McCain's ad says, Washington is broken and he knows it. He damned well ought to - he's participated in the breaking.

1 comment:

  1. Right on! It is incredible what Cheney, Bush, and Co. have done in eight years. One could argue, though, that in their pushing of the pendulum so high to one side, they have accelerated s forceful swing to the other and in the end, I hope, we may just accomplish more for energy, the environment, the economy, and climate change than we may have if the slow and steady had been maintained.