Bush Team Rushes Environment Policy Changes
As the U.S. presidential candidates sprint toward the finish line, the Bush administration is also sprinting to enact environmental policy changes before leaving power.
Whether it's getting wolves off the Endangered Species List, allowing power plants to operate near national parks, loosening regulations for factory farm waste or making it easier for mountaintop coal-mining operations, these proposed changes have found little favor with environmental groups.
The Bush team has urged that these regulations be issued no later than Saturday, so they can be put in effect by the time President George W. Bush leaves office on January 20.
If they are in effect then, it will be hard for the next administration to undo them, and in any case, this may not be the top priority for a new president, said Matt Madia of OMB Watch, which monitors the White House Office of Management and Budget, through which these proposed regulations must pass.
"This is typical," Madia said of the administration's welter of eleventh-hour rules. "It's a natural reaction to knowing that you're almost out of power."
Why the rush? Because rules only go into effect 30 to 60 days after they are finalized, and if they are not in effect when the next president takes office, that chief executive can decline to put them into practice -- as Bush did with many rules finalized at the end of the Clinton administration.
TYPICAL repuglican. Maybe he should just go out and blow up some oil wells and pipelines; might be easier to clean up than all the stuff he's done in the past 8 years. Glad to see him go!