From Sierra magazine, September/October 2008, p. 21.
Managers at the Environmental Protection Agency have been ordered by the courts "to rewrite the 30-year-old federal standards for [lead] ... by September."
Scientists at the EPA indicate that "the federal limit on airborne lead should max out at 0.2 micrograms per cubic meter of air."
So what are the EPA managers proposing? You guessed it! They want to rewrite the standards to read 0.3 micrograms!
Lest you think this a minor detail, "...two new studies reveal the stakes: Lead-exposed children have smaller brains and are more likely to be arrested for violent crimes when they grow up."
But, hey, we wouldn't want to put Bush's corporate buddies under the gun, would we? I mean, what's a few kids compared to millions more in profits?
The Bush administration continues its attack on the environment with "A new federal regulation [that] makes it easier to build coal-fired power plants near national parks by changing how air-pollution levels are calculated. Instead of measuring a plant's peak emissions, regulators will now average them out over a year, thereby making emission spikes magically disappear. Staffers at both the EPA and the National Park Service say the new math will mean worsening air quality at national parks like Zion, Badlands, and the Great Smoky Mountains."
This has been the MO of the Bushites from day one. If you don't like the rules, change them. If you don't like the way things add up, devise a new system of calculation.
I'd never heard of perchlorate. If you said the name, I'd probably think you were talking about a fish! "Perchlorate," however, "[is] a toxic component of rocket fuel, [and] has been found in drinking water in 35 states as well as in most lettuce and milk. Researchers report that even low does of the contaminant disrupt thyroid function and impede fetal development."
That's terrible, you say. It gets worse! "...in May the EPA announced that there is a 'distinct possbility' the agency will decide not to regulate it." But you knew that.
Congress is looking at the problem and may force the EPA to set a standard sometime within the next year. Uh uh.
The other method the Bushites use to get their way is to talk out of both side of their mouth, or say one thing and do the other, thinking that most of us won't notice. Most of us don't!
Here's an example. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced a $489 million "recovery plan for the northern spotted owl that aims to restore its populations in Oregon, Washington, and California over the next 30 years."
Sounds good, right?
Not so fast. "...instead of protecting the bird's old-growth and mature forest habitat from logging, the plan focuses on secondary threats like wildfires and competition from the barred owl, potentially allowing more logging."
Guess who's in charge of all this? Dick Kempthorne, a Bush crony and old logging proponent! This is the same guy who, when governor of Idaho, received a lifetime score of 1% from the League of Conservation Voters!