Bush’s legacy

A small portrait of the translator

November 20, 2008 @ 22:13 UTC

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Just when things were looking up for the world as it sees the last of Bush, the US President has decided to leave an ever-stronger and more lasting legacy by working to dismantle at least 10 major environmental safeguards, some of which include:

Exempting Industrial-size animal farms from the Clean Water Act and air pollution controls.

Exempting the interior department from consulting wildlife managers about the impact of mining and logging before it approves such developments.

Easing restrictions so power plants can operate near national parks and wilderness areas.

Downgrading pollution controls on new power plants.

Not regulating the dumping of waste into rivers and streams by mountain-top mine operators.

Opening 2m acres of land in Utah, Wyoming and Colorado to the development of oil shales, the dirtiest fuel on Earth.

If that wasn’t enough, expect announcements of further rule changes in the next few days which include one that would weaken regulation of perchlorate (a toxin in rocket fuel that can affect brain development in children) in drinking water.

The office of management and budget website shows 83 rules reviewed from September 1 to October 31 this year - about double its workload in 2007, 2006 and 2005. In addition to forcing things out, the Bush administration is trying its best act slowly on court-ordered actions on the environment.

The Guardian reports on the campaign which got under way in May when the White House chief of staff, Joshua Bolten, wrote to government agencies asking them to forward proposals for rule changes. Bolten had initially set a November 1 deadline on rule-making. The White House denies that the flurry of rule changes is politically motivated.

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