White House record on rollbacks

  It’s undoubtedly grim reading. But it should be required for every conservationist — Democrat, Green, Republican or Independent. The Natural Resources Defense Council has just released its review of the Bush administration’s 2002 record on the environment. In Rewriting the Rules: The Bush Administration’s Assault on the Environment, the council details more than 100 federal actions last year that weakened environmental protection — from assaults on the Clean Water Act and public health laws to rollbacks of national forest and national park policy.

Rob Perks, co-author of Rewriting the Rules, explains that during the first year of the Bush presidency, the administration learned that obvious assaults on environmental laws, such as the weakening of arsenic standards in drinking water, led to bad press and unhappy citizens. “In 2002, the administration learned to change their tactics,” says Perks. “Then, after the November mid-term elections, they become even more emboldened.” Now, the administration speaks of “reforming” and “streamlining” environmental laws. But according to the council, those words are simply euphemisms for “weakening.”

The report can be ordered from NRDC for $7.50, by calling 202/289-6868, or downloaded free off the Internet at www.nrdc.org/legislation/rollbacks/rollbacksinx.asp. NRDC’s Web site is also updated regularly to track recent rollbacks.
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