The Bush Record: Industry Runs Roughshod Over Environment
Drill everywhere! Foul the oceans! Pollute the skies! That's great if you're Big Business, but lousy if you're anybody else. Bush's policies are undoing decades of environmental protection and leaving a dirty world for our children and children's children to inherit. For the environment, a change in the White House would be a breath of fresh air.
Bush Is Pro-Dirty Air
President Bush has weakened the Clean Air Act at every turn. The "New Source Review" regulation of the Clear Air Act forced older coal-fired power plants and other facilities to install pollution controls when they expand or are repaired. But under President Bush, the New Source regulations have been significantly weakened, allowing power plants to more pollution into the air. Statistics released by the Clean Air Task Force noted that the 51 power plants subject to New Source Review enforcement helped to cause the premature deaths of 5,500 to 9,000 people each year, many from respiratory diseases.1
Under Bush, You Pay for Cleanup
Corporate polluters used to pay to clean their own messes. Now Bush is shifting the costs to you. The Superfund program was created to ensure that corporate polluters bore the brunt of the costs of cleaning up the worst environmental disasters. But under President Bush, funding cuts and a failure to collect penalties from polluters is creating a shift in costs right to the taxpayer. Superfund assets have declined to nearly zero. Now your tax dollars will pay for 80 percent of the program in 2004, and all Superfund cleanups in 2005.2
Public Lands to the Highest Bidder
Bush opened 9 million acres of public land to logging. In December 2003, the Bush Administration removed prohibitions on logging and mining in the forest largest national forest in the U.S., the Tongass National Forest in southeastern Alaska. The decision could "allow roads to be built through 9 million acres" of Tongass. Bush has fought to allow the oil industry to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as well as protected national parks, monuments, and public lands in the Rocky Mountains.3
Would You Like Some Mercury With That?
Bush proposed weakening mercury regulations in Clean Air Act. A proposed rule change by the Bush EPA would remove mercury emissions from Clean Air Act regulations that limit the most toxic air pollutants and shift the poison to a weaker category, despite the FDA and EPA's own recent recommendation that pregnant women and young children eat less tuna and other seafoods to avoid excessive mercury consumption. Approximately 630,000 babies are born in the United States every year to mothers who have been exposed to unsafe mercury levels.4
Sources: 1New York Times, 7/11/01; Baltimore Sun, 8/28/03; Chicago Tribune, 8/28/03; Los Angeles Times, 8/28/03; Washington Post, 8/28/03; 2General Accounting Office, 7/29/03; Boston Globe, 1/9/04; New York Times, 7/1/02; The Bush Administration's FY2005 Budget for the Environment: Putting Our Future at Risk, 2/4/04; 3Seattle Post Intelligencer, 12/24/03; Los Angeles Times, 12/24/03; Denver Post, 3/15/01; Washington Post, 4/18/02; 4New York Times, 12/3/03, 2/10/04; Washington Post, 12/3/03; Pioneer Press, 10/6/03; Houston Chronicle, 12/5/03; Associated Press, 12/15/03