Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Politics

Comments

Bush pushes his Clear Skies plan — and his electoral prospects — at a notoriously dirty power plan

Bush talks to the masses in Michigan. Photo: White House. When President Bush set out on Monday to defend his recent New Source Review rollback and promote his energy bill and Clear Skies program, it was hard not to notice the peculiar setting he chose. Wearing a hardhat and safety glasses, the commander in chief mingled with a crowd of begoggled workers at a hulking dinosaur of a power plant in Monroe, Mich. Built in 1970, the facility is the second largest coal-fired plant in the United States -- and one of the dirtiest, emitting 91,964 tons of sulfur dioxide, …

Read more: Politics

Comments

The Ties That Blind

Ties to Polluters Could Compromise Leavitt at EPA, Say Critics Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt (R), President Bush's nominee to head the U.S. EPA, has strong financial ties to polluters, which critics say cast doubt on his ability to do the job fairly and effectively. Nearly 10 percent of the campaign funds Leavitt raised over the last 10 years came from oil refineries, mining firms, landfill operators, and other companies that have unresolved EPA pollution violations. A coalition of Utah environmental groups yesterday released a white paper outlining weaknesses in Leavitt's environmental record in Utah, alleging, among other things, that polluters …

Read more: Politics

Comments

Rocky Roadless

Bush Administration Refuses to Defend Roadless Rule In what may be a final blow to the Clinton-era roadless policy, the Bush administration refused to appeal a federal court injunction against the rule by the deadline for doing so last Friday. Enviros are hopping mad that the administration didn't defend the policy, which aimed to prevent road-building, logging, and oil and gas development on 58.5 million acres of roadless national forest land. "At every turn this administration has sought cover for its intentions to gut the roadless rule, and now it is hiding behind an adverse district court decision, rather than …

Read more: Politics

Comments

Block Party

Edwards Will Block Bush's Choice to Head EPA North Carolina Sen. John Edwards (D), a presidential contender, is now the third senator threatening to hold up the nomination of President Bush's choice to head the U.S. EPA, Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt (R). "The nomination will not go forward until this administration commits to giving us the truth about how Clean Air Act rollbacks are going to affect our kids with asthma and seniors with health problems," Edwards said yesterday. A similar parliamentary block was announced last week by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and supported by Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.), …

Read more: Politics

Comments

Twisting Their Farms

California Bills Would Crack Down on Air Pollution from Farms For the first time, California farmers would have to do their part to curb air pollution, under a series of controversial bills approved last week by the state legislature. The state's agriculture industry has long enjoyed an exemption from the federal Clean Air Act, even though many of its activities generate substantial amounts of pollution; in fact, California's Central Valley, the heart of the state's farm country, has some of the nation's dirtiest air. The package of bills would eliminate that exemption, phase out the burning of agricultural waste, require …

Read more: Food, Politics

Comments

The Coast in the Machine

Bush Pushes for Offshore Oil Drilling in Alaska The Bush administration is moving aggressively to open Alaska's coastal waters to oil exploration -- a campaign that is not getting nearly as much public scrutiny as efforts to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The administration plans to offer eight oil and gas lease sales in Alaska's federal waters over the next five years, starting with a 9.4 million-acre offering this month in the Arctic's Beaufort Sea. To boost interest in the Beaufort lease, the federal Minerals Management Service is offering royalty breaks that could let oil producers make away …

Comments

Foam Call

Canadian Tribes Fight Big Fish Farms in Court Fish farms off Canada's west coast are under fire from native tribes that claim the big aquaculture operations are devastating the natural environment. Four tribes living in the Broughton Archipelago, off the coast of British Columbia north of Vancouver Island, are going to court to curb the spread of aquaculture, citing Canada's constitutional obligation to protect natives' fishing rights. Tribal leaders contend that the 30-some salmon farms in the archipelago, which consist of huge floating cages containing large numbers of fish, have spread disease to wild fish and decimated local pink salmon …

Read more: Politics

Comments

Cheney Reaction

Appeals Court Rejects Bush Attempt to Withhold Energy Documents A federal appeals court yesterday rejected the Bush administration's argument that it should not have to release documents related to Vice President Dick Cheney's Energy Task Force, marking the fourth -- yes, fourth -- time the judiciary has told the White House the information must be made public. The suit against the Veep was brought by the Sierra Club and Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, both of which sought to learn who participated in the task force and what role Cheney played in it. Now that the appellate court has …

Read more: Politics

Comments

Hillary Clinton threatens to block Bush’s EPA nominee

As the second anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks looms, the Bush administration is facing opprobrium for having deceived the American public about possible air-quality concerns at Ground Zero. Behind the scenes, the issue has become somewhat bizarrely entwined with another hot topic: the confirmation of Republican Gov. Michael Leavitt of Utah as the new U.S. EPA administrator. What's the connection? Nada. But Leavitt's confirmation hearing can be delayed by filibuster, which means it offers environmentally minded senators a megaphone to address the Ground Zero quandary and other green grievances. What does this man have to do with Ground …

Read more: Politics

Comments

Rove V. Waders

White House Political Maneuvering Could Hurt Northwest Salmon President Bush lost in Oregon and Washington in the 2000 election, but his team is working to ensure that he fares better in the Pacific Northwest in 2004 -- and that may mean trouble for salmon. Bush's top strategy honcho, Karl Rove, has been making quiet trips to the region and, some say, pressuring federal agencies to loosen protections for salmon and other endangered species because agricultural interests in the Northwest don't want protective measures to interfere with irrigation. Rove's intent seems to be to shore up support from Bush's base: farmers, …

Read more: Food, Politics