|From:||CPEO Moderator <email@example.com>|
|Date:||13 Mar 2003 17:30:53 -0000|
|Subject:||[CPEO-MEF] Behind enemy lines|
Posted on Thu, Mar. 13, 2003 Editorial | Behind enemy lines Pentagon fears snails, not Saddam. Daily on CNN, high-ranking Defense Department spokesmen brag about America's military might. Yet today, on Capitol Hill, Congress is likely to hear testimony that woodpeckers and dolphins are impeding military readiness. What's up with that? A larger agenda is playing out in Washington, one that wouldn't necessarily protect soldiers but would surely endanger public health. Under the guise of preparation for war, the Pentagon is seeking broad exemptions from environmental laws that regulate air pollution, hazardous waste and toxic cleanup and that protect endangered species, migratory birds and marine mammals. The changes are part of the 2004 defense authorization bill. Testimony begins today in the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, neither of which has the environmental expertise to judge the proposals. Congress rejected these same ideas last year, and for good reason: They're not needed. The environmental laws, as written, already contain exemptions in the interest of national security. The President need only invoke them. For example, if the Air Force needs to increase training flights of fighter jets, the President or another senior official can declare a temporary exception to the Clean Air Act - at one base or nationwide. Yet the Pentagon, which manages 425 installations on 25 million acres, wants broader power to relax routine pollution from power plants, incinerators and traffic. It wants to leave firing ranges littered with toxic munitions. It wants to ignore injuries to marine life from Navy drills. This editorial can be viewed at: http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/editorial/5378446.htm ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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