Bush Visiting Western States to Push His Environmental Agenda

During the next three weeks, President Bush will be making pit stops in a number of Western states both to tout his environmental agenda and to raise big bucks for his reelection campaign. Even though Bush’s advisors consider the environment to be a “second-tier issue,” they recognize that it’s a point of vulnerability for the president, particularly among women voters in suburban areas, so they are aiming to improve his image. Bush kicked off his enviro tour with an appearance in Arizona yesterday, where he flew over a charred forest and plugged his “Healthy Forests” initiative, which would speed up thinning of forests on federal lands in part by limiting environmental reviews. Democratic senators and presidential contenders Joe Lieberman (Conn.) and John Kerry (Mass.), as well as numerous environmental groups, harshly criticized the plan, saying it would make it easier to remove large, old trees and would be a giveaway to the logging industry.