So Much for the Rule of the Law
To the delight of the timber, energy, and mining industries, the Bush administration has delayed for at least two months former President Clinton’s plan to ban road-building and logging on 58.5 million acres of national forest land. However, because the plan was published in the Federal Register before President Bush took office, enviros are saying Bush can’t alter or block the rule much longer without going through an exhaustive new rule-making process. Western Republicans in Congress could try to block the ban under a 1996 law giving them the right to pull back rules within 60 days of publication in the register. But the law has never before been invoked, and proponents of the rollback might find it hard to muster enough support in a Congress so evenly divided.