Give Some Loot, Go Ahead and Pollute
Texas Gov. George W. Bush’s (R) presidential run will likely be haunted by his state’s environmental problems, particularly Houston’s recently achieved status as the nation’s smoggiest city. To avoid losing federal highway funding, Houston must come up with a plan to reduce its air pollution by 90 percent, and Dallas by 88 percent. Bush touts a law he signed this summer that created a voluntary program to reduce emissions from old industrial facilities, but so far only some 15 percent of 760 old plants have signed up to participate. Critics point out that all three of Bush’s appointees to the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, which regulates industrial emissions and water quality, came from the oil and petrochemical industry. Many of Texas’s biggest industries and top polluters have made large contributions to his presidential campaign.