2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 8 May 2003 15:07:27 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Patriotic pollution?
Patriotic pollution?
May 7, 2003

Republican House members introduced a bill last week that would excuse
the military from protecting the environment.

Even granting that war is a dirty business, it does not necessarily
follow that military pollution is patriotic.

Indeed, pollution generated at military bases or in the course of
defense operations can be just as harmful to human beings and other
living things as the industrial variety.

Consider recent reports about the contamination of lettuce crops in
California by irrigation water laced with chemicals used in rocket and
missile fuels. Or consider the observation three years ago of
then-candidate - and now-commander-in-chief - George W. Bush to the
effect that "the biggest polluter in America is the federal government."

If that is true, then the Defense Department is among the biggest of big
government polluters. And neither the ongoing war against terrorism nor
the military's lightning-fast conquest of Iraq should be used as excuses
for pardoning the military establishment from the obligation to observe
and obey the nation's environmental laws.

And yet, since Sept. 11, momentum has been gathering in Washington, D.C.
for Congress to grant broad military exemptions to America's water, air
pollution and other environmental protection laws. Last week, a group of
Republican House members introduced a bill that would excuse the
military of the obligation to protect endangered species in the course
of its operations.

To view this editorial, copy and paste the following URL into your

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