Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Friday | November 08, 2002

GOP control bad news for environment

A friend said something quite wise to me yesterday: "I can deal with Republican control on issues like welfare or abortion, because any such legislation can be easily undone. But on the environment, once they fuck it up, it's gone."

And therein lies probably the scariest part about GOP control of all branches of government: Republicans are hostile to environmental concerns, and dammit, they are going to do something about it!

  • There will be a renewed push to drill in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

  • Bush will have an easier time passing his plan to allow increased logging in national forests to "cut wildfire risk" (if there are no trees, there can't be a forest fire!).

  • Other logging projects will get a boost as Congress and the administration attempt to streamline the process for getting permits (by, among other things, limiting administrative and judicial appeals of logging projects).

  • Congress will continue attempts to weaken the Clean Air and Endangered Species Acts.

  • The bane of the pro-polluter GOP -- the Superfund program -- may finally meet its tragic demise.

  • The president's Energy Bill, which now has a greater chance of passage, will provide huge tax breaks to energy companies.
There's more, lots more, but you get the idea. Senate Democrats may be able to kill some of these proposals, but their leverage is weak. Failures will vastly outnumber their successes. It simply looks as though the environment is in for a bad couple of years.

The only silver lining (and I know I'm stretching) is that this coming assault on the environment will provide environmental organizations with plenty of fundraising fodder and hopefully energize voters to see what their votes and apathy have wrought.

Posted November 08, 2002 10:58 AM | Comments (40)


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