Sierra Club Scores Shrub’s First 100 Days


WASHINGTON, D.C., APRIL 26—Thanks to the Sierra Club, here’s an environmental scorecard of President Bush’s first 100 days.

  • While not reversing Clinton’s ban on snowmobiles, whose fumes and noise disrupt wildlife, Bush announced he hoped an agreement could be reached that allowed “limited recreational use” in the two national parks in Wyoming.
  • The Free Trade Area of the Americas, Bush’s super-NAFTA agreement announced in Quebec City last weekend, introduces administrative rules that will be used throughout the hemisphere to weaken environmental restraints in the name of promoting industry.
  • Bush said he will sign a treaty banning dangerous chemicals that had been negotiated by Clinton.
  • The Bush administration said it will OK another Clinton regulation that toughens standards for reporting lead pollution by factories and other facilities.
  • The administration won’t block Clinton regs that seek to tighten the Clean Water Act so as to protect wetlands.
  • Bush is trying to ease up on energy-efficiency standards for central air conditioners.
  • Bush approved efficiency standards first proposed by Clinton that require new washing machines to use more than one third less energy, and water heaters to use five to nine percent less.
  • After intense lobbying by the chemical, beef, and poultry industries, the Environmental Protection Agency put a hold on a report showing that consumption of animal fat and dairy products containing traces of dioxin can cause cancer in humans.
  • Bush pushed ahead with plans to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.
  • The Bush budget would cut research into energy efficiency and renewable fuels by 27 percent overall. Some projects will be sliced by half.
  • Budget cuts of $158 million in the EPA’s air and water pollution enforcement program weaken environmental regulations.
  • Bush earmarked $150 million for a clean-coal research program. But clean coal contains the same amounts of polluting carbon dioxide and other toxic chemicals as dirty coal.
  • The Bush Interior Department budget reduced money for land acquisition under the Land and Water Conservation Fund by $60 million. Bush also cut the budget for the Fish and Wildlife Service by $168 million, and in the Bureau of Land Management there was a budget shift from conservation to exploiting public lands with more money targeted for oil drilling exploration and mining exploration.
  • Bush abandoned his promised program to spend an additional $100 million on rainforest protection.
  • The president suspended a rule that denies federal contracts to firms which have violated federal workplace, safety, and environmental laws.
  • Bush withdrew from the Kyoto treaty on global warming.
  • The administration will attempt to change boundaries and management plans covering national monuments to include various traditional uses. Interior Secretary Gale Norton defined this to include mining and oil and gas exploration, in certain instances.
  • The EPA rescinded a rule guaranteeing public access to information about the potential consequences of chemical plant accidents.
  • The Interior Department issued a public notice announcing its intention to scrap recent reforms in the hard-rock mining law. This will lead to the reopening of mining, for small fees, on protected land.
  • The EPA will delay a rule restricting the amount of arsenic in tap water.
  • Bush decided to let stand the settlement of a lawsuit requiring the EPA to comply with key obligations under the Food Quality Protection Act that aim to safeguard the health of infants and children.
  • Bush eased clean-air standards for gasoline in the Midwest.
  • Bush broke his campaign promise to reduce carbon dioxide pollution, the main cause of global warming.
  • The administration left in place Clinton rules aimed at cutting diesel engine pollution.
  • Bush issued two delays in plans to protect the remaining roadless areas of National Forests.