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Will the real Ecoterrorists please stand up

Observations from the Edge
Robert T. Nanninga
Coast News
October 23, 2003


"A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government." — Edward Abbey

Recently the North County Coalition for Peace and Justice Coalition invited me to speak to their membership. They asked me to give an update on Environmental policy emanating from the current Bush Administration. How could I say no?

Instead of speaking from the hip, I decided a detailed laundry list of ecological crimes committed by the Bush Administration would serve the situation best. Naming names and citing specific cases seemed right. To do so I would need to go on a fact-finding mission. That was the easy part. There is so much dirt on the dark dealings of Bush Inc. finding a source of information was never at issue. Neither was the corporate corruption that has engulfed the federal government.

In the last three years the Bush Administration has completely undermined a century of progressive environmental policy. Begun with the vision and wisdom of Theodore Roosevelt, when he committed the United States of North America to the ideals of conservation, federal governance has ever since attempted to preserve the ecological preservation of the federation through conservation legislation such as the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Clean Water Act.

All one has to do is look at the resumes of Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice to see they are tools of the oil industry. Plain and simple. The fact Mr. Cheney receives a million dollars a year from Halliburton, his "previous" employer, should be evidence enough. If that is not sufficient, maybe the Chevron oil tanker once named in honor of Condoleezza Rice will suffice. The connection to Big Oil runs deep in the Bush Administration. As we all know, oil does not a healthy planet make.

The best example of George W. staffing the federal hen house with foxes is the appointment of Mark Rey, as the Undersecretary of Agriculture for Natural Resources & Environment, he oversees the U.S. Forest Service and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Mr. Rey is responsible for the management of 156 national forests, 19 national grasslands, and 15 land utilization projects encompassing 191 million acres in 44 states. Mark Rey was a career lobbyist for the paper industry before joining the Bush Dream team.

Yes ladies and gentlemen, the guy in charge of national forests sells paper for a living.

Across the board environmental legislation is being rewritten in ways that favor the raping and pillaging of North America. Plants and animals are being removed from the endangered species list. Others, such as the endangered Kemp's Ridley sea turtle, are under direct attack. In the case of lepidochelys kempi, the world's most endangered sea turtle, they have been actively been targeted by the Interior Department's approval of gas drilling operations on the beach nesting grounds of the sea turtle at Padre National Seashore in Texas.

Public lands in California are also under assault. Immediately after his inauguration the Bush Administration reversed a Bruce Babbitt decision-protecting wilderness within the Quechen Indian Nation from a 1,600-acre, 850 foot deep, open pit mine proposed Glamis Gold Ltd. of Canada. In 2002 the Bush Administration approved an open pit mine on the southwestern border of Death Valley National Park. In both cases ignoring all scientific and biological data not in keeping with their extraction at all costs ideology.

Although the State of California unequivocally opposes new oil and gas drilling in coastal waters, the Bush Administration wants to open 36 sites near Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura Counties and continues to refuse all requests to buy back drilling leases for future drilling sites as they did in Florida to insure Jeb Bush's reelection. Like Alaska, neo conservatives would like nothing more than to have their way with the ecological resources of California.

Giant sequoias, a distinctly Californian species have also been targeted by W's misnamed Healthy Forest Initiative, which allows for harvesting of the world's largest trees in order to protect them fire. This decidedly "unhealthy forestry initiative" exempts any hazardous fuels reduction project from meeting requirements established in the National Environmental Policy Act and the Appeals Reform Act. And since the Brain trust over at the Bush Camp views forests as a build up of hazardous fuels, trees are logged throughout the nations forest in the name of fire prevention.

Every where you look, from the rivers of Iraq to the Tundra of Alaska's north shore there glaring examples of the Bush Administrations complete lack of regard for ecological sustainability. National security is under attack by an administration owned and operated by the corporate polluters and plunders currently waging war on the people of Iraq.

Forget ELF, the Bush Administration are the real Ecoterrorists.

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