2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: uxogypfy@bellsouth.net
Date: 25 Mar 2003 22:05:30 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: Re: [CPEO-MEF] Invoking War to Ease Rules
I am bit confused here regarding what appears to have been meant to be an
offensive and degrading comment directed to those concerned about the
enviroment  '...irrational enforcement of environmental laws'.  IF these
laws were 'irrational' they would never have made it through the extensive
work 'on the Hill'  it took to make them laws to begin with.  As for
military readiness, I have yet to hear anyone talk ill of 'military
readiness'.  I think we all agree this is necessary but not at the expense
of damaging the environment, particularly the water 'us humans' drink.
Unless the definitions of 'law' has changed, it is put in place to protect
the innocent and keep those in line who might want to 'step over it'????

----- Original Message -----
From: "CPEO Moderator" <cpeo@cpeo.org>
To: <cpeo-military@igc.topica.com>
Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2003 11:08 AM
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Invoking War to Ease Rules

March 22, 2003
Invoking War to Ease Rules

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has begun a campaign
it calls, portentously, "Operation End Extremism." The purpose is to
expose "the increasing burden U.S. soldiers face on military training
bases because of irrational enforcement of environmental laws." The
whole thing might be dismissed as another ideological stunt from the
committee's reactionary chairman, James Inhofe of Oklahoma, were it not
for the fact that the Pentagon is trying to do the same thing. With
White House backing, the Defense Department has asked Congress to
approve a program it calls the "Readiness and Range Preservation
Initiative," which would broadly exempt military bases and some
operations from environmental regulation.

The Pentagon's basic complaint, echoed by Mr. Inhofe, is that the laws
governing air pollution, toxic waste dumps, endangered species and even
marine mammals - most of which have been on the books for decades -
interfere with training and readiness exercises necessary for national
security. The Pentagon thus seeks a host of exemptions. For instance, it
would ease the hazardous waste laws to exclude explosives and other
potentially toxic material on firing ranges. It seeks exemptions from
the Endangered Species Act whenever its duty under that law to protect
animals interferes with training operations. And, environmentalists say,
the proposed law could transfer to state governments the enormous costs
of cleaning up thousands of contaminated sites on military property.

Of particular interest is the Marine Mammals Protection Act, which is
also the first target on Mr. Inhofe's hit list. The act is the nation's
one legal instrument for protecting whales, dolphins, sea otters,
manatees and the like. But the Navy claims that protecting these
creatures restricts its ability to test sonar and other underwater
detection devices. A recent court-ordered settlement makes about one
million square miles of ocean available for such testing but that,
apparently, is insufficient.

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