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The Big Picture

'Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates? Morons.' -- Vizzini from "The Princess Bride"

Friday, March 14, 2008

More on Smog -- Our President

In my last post regarding smog and pollution, I referred to nameless "conservative Republicans" as being the source. Today we have a name.. And that name is Bush.

The Environmental Protection Agency agreed to weaken an important part of its new smog requirements after being told at the last minute that President Bush preferred a less stringent approach, according to government documents.

I guess this is consistent with the Bush Doctrine: Make you safer by making you less safe (so many of you die and then there's less of you to make safe, making it easier -- or something like that. Yeah, I don't understand it either). Here's how it works:

The memos and documents indicate that EPA officials had wanted to make the public welfare standard more stringent than the health standard, although still not as protective as some scientists had recommended.But the White House insisted on making both standards identical, according to the documents. When EPA officials balked, the issue went to Bush, who sided with his budget office.
The White House defended Bush's action.
"This is not a weakening of regs (regulations) or standards," White House deputy press secretary Tony Fratto said Friday. "But it was an effort to make the standards
consistent. There's no question we have an interest in how federal regs impact communities."
Fratto said the new standards are the "most stringent smog standards in history" and that communities will have a hard time meeting them. He described the area where Bush intervened as 'a technical matter' and said he acted on the advice of the Justice Department.

So I see, the Justice Department and the budget office are making final decisions about public health and science. I guess they all stayed at a Holiday Inn Express. ...Not.

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