2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 10 Feb 2003 17:46:42 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Above the law / Bush's environmental radicalism
Editorial: Above the law / Bush's environmental radicalism
Published Feb. 10, 2003 ED10A

Anyone remember voting for a president who promised to put the Pentagon
above the nation's environmental laws?

Of course not. A position that radical and reckless would drive away
votes, not attract them. But with the election won, and the nation in a
wartime mood . . . .

The Bush administration thought it was worth a try last year, and sought
to exempt the Defense Department from the Endangered Species Act, the
Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act and five more key statutes. It got
the pliant Republican House to go along, but the Senate balked. In the
end, it won exemption only from the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

That law, adopted in 1918, is widely considered the first U.S. statute
protecting endangered species. It came into the Pentagon's cross hairs
at the height of the Afghan war, when an environmental group challenged
the Navy's use of critical Pacific island habitat for bombing exercises.

Now, with war in Iraq on the horizon, Bush hopes to gain the remainder
of the blanket exemptions he was denied last year. To that end, the
Defense Department organized a "forum" last week in which generals
derided such imaginary scenarios as holding up a battle-bound destroyer
until a permit for disturbing sea lions could be obtained.

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