Yesterday when I passed on the news that the Bush administration proposed three new marine monuments way out in the Pacific Ocean, I mentioned that this was a rare bright spot in an otherwise abysmal record on the environment. The words I used to describe most of the last minute actions by our outgoing fearless leader were "vandalizing the environment". This caused on commenter to ask (I think in seriousness...) what those acts of vandalism were. n case anyone needs a historical refresher on the environmental record of the entirety of the George Bush's two terms in office, NRDC has a cool interactive chart that details his dirty legacy. Here are just some of the low-lights of the past six months:
June 2008: White House Refuses to Open EPA Emails — You probably remember this one: The White House gets emails from the EPA which (it was later discovered) contained information about greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles endangering public health. The EPA says these emissions must be controlled. The White House refuses to even open the messages.
July 2008: No Regulation of CO2 — Even though there are legal requirements to the contrary, the White House pressures the EPA to sit on its hands for the remainder of the year and not regulate CO2 emissions.
August 2008: EPA Ignores BPA — Despite reports that bisphenol A, used in baby bottles and food packaging, can be dangerous to one's health, the FDA asserts that BPA is safe to use.
December 2008: BLM Leases Public Lands in Utah — Public lands in Utah, including some 100,000 acres near Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, are opened up to leasing for oil exploration.
December 2008: Easier Coal Waste Dumping in Streams Approved — The Interior Department claims that it is strengthening protection for streams, but environmental groups disagree with EDF saying that the act shows "flagrant disregard for human health, the environment or the rule of law."
Writing as an environmentalist (feel free to weigh in as whatever badge you want to wear), all I can say to our outgoing president is 'good riddance'...
More: NRDC: The Bush Record
Bush Administration Environmental Record
Record Setting 195,000 Square Miles of Pacific Ocean Protected by Bush Administration
Bush Administration Puts Hands Over Eyes, Chants La La La I Can't Hear You!
Bush Administration Takes Another Last Minute Poke at the Environment: Approves Easier Coal Mine Waste Dumping in Streams