So when I read this Washington Post article detailing the Bush administration's last minute push to pass a whole slew of really terrible deregulatory legislation, I couldn't help but feel like they were trying to oil check the whole nation.
We've all been learning the harsh lesson of what happens when you deregulate the economy (some of us already knew what would happen, but the warnings went unheeded by those in power). How, then, can we justify ignoring those lessons completely when it comes to industry and the environment?
Here are just a few of the things the Bush admin is trying to do:
...lift a requirement that environmental impact statements be prepared for certain fisheries-management decisions and...give review authority to regional councils dominated by commercial and recreational fishing interests.These are all, according to White House spokesman Tony Fratto, "well reasoned and are being considered with the best interests of the nation in mind."
...allow current emissions at a power plant to match the highest levels produced by that plant, overturning a rule that more strictly limits such emission increases. According to the EPA's estimate, it would allow millions of tons of additional carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually, worsening global warming.
A related regulation would ease limits on emissions from coal-fired power plants near national parks.
A third rule would allow increased emissions from oil refineries, chemical factories and other industrial plants with complex manufacturing operations.
You'll understand, I hope, if I utterly and completely distrust you, Tony. Unless, of course, what you mean by "best interests of the nation" is "best interests of industries with enough money." Then I'd believe you were telling the truth.
I have to give points to the Bush administration for sheer ambition. They've already done a mighty fine job of fucking things up pretty royally for the country and the world, but even now, just a couple of months before the end of Bush's term, they're still doing their damndest to continue with the raping and pillaging.
I'd say we could just wait and hope for an Obama presidency that would work to overturn all of this nonsense, but the problem is that re-implementing regulations is much, much more difficult than stripping them away.
Afterall, it's always harder to do the right thing.
So start putting some pressure on your elected officials, reminding them that there's more than just the election to worry about just now and that they need to oppose this shit with all their might. Unless they want that oil check, of course.
UPDATE: Oh this just gets better and better. Want. To punch. Something.