Exactly one month ago the Bush administration sought favor from environmentalists by adding polar bears to the threatened species list. See? it seemed to say, we really do care about the environment. And the move was duly publicized throughout the land.
Yep, the administration cares so much about those polar bears that it’s now granted legal protection to gas and oil companies in the area whose operations might result in death or harassment of the bears. See? it seems to be noting, we care about the environment as long as it doesn’t interfere with doing business as usual.
This is the administration that wants to open ANWAR to exploration because it will be carefully regulated, create only a small footprint, and do minimal damage to the environment. Bravo, except we’ve already seen that this administration will turn around and grant legal immunity to companies operating there, giving them a free hand after all.
It’s reminiscent of the federal legal immunity granted to phone companies after they allowed the government access to our records, but before anyone could file a suit against them. Or for that matter, any bill signed into law by this president, but instantly emasculated by a signing statement saying, in effect, “yep, this is a law now, until I decide it isn’t.”
A designated “wilderness area,” “wildlife refuge,” “endangered species,” or “wild river” either is, or it isn’t. There’s no in between.
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