Bush admin weakens water-pollution rules after oil exec intervenes

When Clinton administration regulators announced they were working on a rule that would require special EPA permits for oil and gas drilling sites, to prevent water pollution, the oil and gas industry lumbered into action, lobbying furiously to thwart the rule. Then the Bush administration came into office, and their job got easier. In 2002, Ernest Angelo — Texas oilman and longtime hunting buddy of Karl Rove — sent a letter to Rove. He complained about the rule and said many oil types “openly express doubt as to the merit of electing Republicans when we wind up with this type of stupidity.” Rove forwarded the letter to Bush environmental advisers, asking to “get a response ASAP.” Mere weeks later, a top EPA official wrote Angelo and assured him that the rule was being delayed. Now, as of yesterday, the rule has been implemented in dramatically weakened form. And that, friends, is a parable for our times.