5. ANTI-ENVIRONMENT LOBBYISTS WILL NO LONGER BE MAKING ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY

The chair of the White House Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ) serves as the president's key environment policy adviser. Under Bush, that position has been held by James L. Connaughton — whose previous job was lobbying against environmental regulations on behalf of a client list that included the Chemical Manufacturers Association of America. In fact, during the Bush years, the CEQ and its staff has been dominated by former anti-environmental lobbyists, and has seen its staff, budget, and relevance drastically reduced.

In 2004, a Bush oversight committee that included some anti-environmental lobbyists was presented a plan — carefully drawn up by an official governmental advisory group — for preserving the old-growth habitat of the endangered Northern Spotted Owl. The politically appointed committee chucked the scientific findings of the scientists and ornithology experts, and declared that preserving the habitat is irrelevant to saving the species — let the owls find somewhere else to live. That fight has been ongoing, with the Bush administration continually seeking to reverse environmental protections on the owl's habitat, put in place under President Bill Clinton, in order to increase logging.

Of course, sometimes the governmental regulators aren't former lobbyists — sometimes they are simply having sex and doing blow with current lobbyists. Curious? During most of the Bush administration years, the Interior Department's Minerals Management Service (MMS) strangely failed to collect billions of dollars in royalties from the oil and gas companies, thus allowing the entities to enrich themselves off the resources within public lands and waters. Why? It seems, as we learned this year from the department's inspector general, that the MMS staff in charge of collecting those royalties was involved in a "culture of substance abuse and promiscuity" with representatives of those oil and gas companies. A few of the staffers have been disciplined; meanwhile, the under-collection of royalties — money that is supposed to support conservation funds — continues.

<< first  ...< prev  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |   next >...  last >>

5 of 20 (results 20)
  Topics: News Features , Barack Obama, Barack Obama, U.S. Department of Agriculture,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY DAVID S. BERNSTEIN
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   MRS. WARREN GOES TO WASHINGTON  |  March 21, 2013
    Elizabeth Warren was the only senator on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, aside from the chair and ranking minority, to show up at last Thursday's hearing on indexing the minimum wage to inflation.
  •   MARCH MADNESS  |  March 12, 2013
    It's no surprise that the coming weekend's Saint Patrick's Day celebrations have become politically charged, given the extraordinary convergence of electoral events visiting South Boston.
  •   LABOR'S LOVE LOST  |  March 08, 2013
    Steve Lynch is winning back much of the union support that left him in 2009.
  •   AFTER MARKEY, GET SET, GO  |  February 20, 2013
    It's a matter of political decorum: when an officeholder is running for higher office, you wait until the election has been won before publicly coveting the resulting vacancy.
  •   RED BLUES: SCOTT BROWN EXPOSES THE EMPTY MASSACHUSETTS GOP BENCH  |  February 15, 2013
    It wasn't just that Scott Brown announced he was not running in the special US Senate election — it was that it quickly became evident that he was not handing the job off to another Republican.

 See all articles by: DAVID S. BERNSTEIN