- October 22 - In its New York Times op-ed page advertisement today, TomPaine.com uncovers a plan hidden in a little-known White House report to tear up a critical environmental law. The Op-Ad explains:
The National Environmental Policy Act was signed into law by Richard Nixon in 1970, a time when conservatives were still stewards of the environment. NEPA has been the foundation for some of the landmark environmental victories of the past 30 years.
Not only that, the TomPaine.com ad continues, the law works -- and not just because it gives us cleaner air and water. "Just recently," the ad states, "George Bush's own Office of Management and Budget confirmed that environmental protection is highly cost effective. Using the most conservative assumptions, OMB found that, on average, each dollar spent on environmental regulation over the past decade returned more than six dollars in health care savings and improved worker productivity."
Why then, TomPaine.com asks, is the administration proposing to eviscerate NEPA by restricting the use of environmental impact reports and exempting projects from public scrutiny?
The ad fingers James Connaughton, a former oil industry lobbyist who now heads Bush's Council on Environmental Quality. Connaugton will soon decide NEPA's fate. It doesn't look good for NEPA -- or for our country's environmental safeguards.
To view the ad along with supporting materials from Natural Resources Defense Council and OMB Watch, visit http://www.tompaine.com/op_ads/opad2.cfm/ID/9199.
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