Sunday, November 02, 2008

A Busy Period (by Phila)

We all remember how the Clinton team vandalized the White House after the 2000 election, in a last-minute orgy of petulance before the Adults came in to restore order. Although it didn't actually happen, it nonetheless communicated something essential about the horrific nature of the Clinton Regime: The fact that they didn't do it doesn't mean they couldn't have, or didn't want to; there's no smoke without fire, after all.

The Bush Administration, by contrast, prefers to spend its last hours vandalizing the entire continent:
As the U.S. presidential candidates sprint toward the finish line, the Bush administration is also sprinting to enact environmental policy changes before leaving power.

Whether it's getting wolves off the Endangered Species List, allowing power plants to operate near national parks, loosening regulations for factory farm waste or making it easier for mountaintop coal-mining operations, these proposed changes have found little favor with environmental groups.
Well, those people are always complaining. People who matter seem to be quite happy with the effort, not least because BushCo is taking careful steps to ensure that the regulations will come into force before the inauguration:
The burst of activity has made this a busy period for lobbyists who fear that industry views will hold less sway after the elections. The doors at the New Executive Office Building have been whirling with corporate officials and advisers pleading for relief or, in many cases, for hastened decision making.

According to the Office of Management and Budget's regulatory calendar, the commercial scallop-fishing industry came in two weeks ago to urge that proposed catch limits be eased, nearly bumping into National Mining Association officials making the case for easing rules meant to keep coal slurry waste out of Appalachian streams. A few days earlier, lawyers for kidney dialysis and biotechnology companies registered their complaints at the OMB about new Medicare reimbursement rules. Lobbyists for customs brokers complained about proposed counterterrorism rules that require the advance reporting of shipping data.
Here's my favorite part:
One rule, being pursued over some opposition within the Environmental Protection Agency, would allow current emissions at a power plant to match the highest levels produced by that plant, overturning a rule that more strictly limits such emission increases. According to the EPA's estimate, it would allow millions of tons of additional carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually, worsening global warming....

Jonathan Shradar, an EPA spokesman, said that he could not discuss specifics but added that "we strive to protect human health and the environment." Any rule the agency completes, he said, "is more stringent than the previous one."
That seems like a crazy thing to say, until you consider who benefits from this increased "stringency."

I don't think it's remotely realistic to believe that McCain would undo this damage if he were elected. I also think it'd be dangerous, if not fatal, to wait until 2012 to start working on the project. That leaves Obama as my only hope, which doesn't exactly fill me with confidence; while I'm pretty certain that he has the political skill to defuse these environmental time bombs, I'm not entirely convinced he has the will. If he's elected, I'd like to see a task force dedicated to solving this problem within the first 30-60 days of his administration (if not before).

Granting that some people on the Left remain unwilling to vote for Obama, for whatever reason, I hope we can all agree that these changes are unconscionable, and that we'll all be willing to apply whatever pressure it takes to get these insane, brutal, stupid anti-regulations overturned.