Attacks on the environment

Published May 1, 2000

Throughout the primary season, nearly every Presidential aspirant attacked nearly every other on their “environmental” record. Only one contender, Vice President Al Gore, who will be his party’s standard-bearer this fall, has gone unscathed.

It would seem that everyone in the major political parties has been driven from the issue by Gore’s “green credentials,” white-hot rhetoric, and legions of self-styled “environmentalist” supporters. Perhaps it’s time for Americans to look again at the woeful record of environmental abuse in the pursuit of political power that has been the hallmark of the Clinton-Gore administration over the last seven years.

MTBE: the disaster EPA knew would happen. The gasoline oxygenate methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) heavily pollutes groundwater up and down both coasts and has forced the shut-down of countless municipal and drinking-water wells, even in such states as Illinois, which relies heavily on ethanol, not MTBE, as the oxygenate of choice.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency knew as far back as 1987 that MTBE would pollute water. The agency’s own scientists knew it was going to be a serious problem. But EPA went through with its plan to mandate oxygenates in gasoline, just as the Clinton-Gore administration took office. And for seven years, EPA Administrator Carol Browner, a former Gore campaign aide, touted MTBE as an important ingredient for reducing auto emissions.

The National Research Council has since demonstrated that oxygenates have virtually no effect on air quality. Browner’s response: appointed a “blue-ribbon” panel to study MTBE last year. Gore’s response: silence.

Sludge and sickness. In the first year of the Clinton-Gore administration, EPA directed that municipal sludge, made from human waste and still containing human pathogens, be spread on farmfields.

Major food companies are so wary of it they refuse to accept food products grown on sludge-covered fields. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found it to be the cause of chronic illnesses in workers. It has been tentatively linked to two deaths.

Dr. Alan Rubin, who authored the rule under which all this takes place, admitted to the New Hampshire legislature, which was investigating one of the deaths, that the sludge rule was “basically an image-political type deal.”

EPA’s reaction: harass its own scientists, as well as private citizens who challenge the policy. Browner’s reaction: defend the policy. Gore’s reaction: silence.

Preventing prevention. Similar to the Alar scare of a number of years ago, Gore’s environmental supporters have prompted EPA to launch a program to ban large numbers of popular pesticides using organophosphates and carbamates as their active ingredients.

No deaths or even illnesses have been linked to their use, though they are significant in protecting the quality, nutrition, and low cost of our food supply. They are extremely effective in controlling cockroaches, whose feces, the World Health Organization says, are a principle cause of asthma. Though EPA has set the allowable limit of many of these chemicals in food at zero, 99.9 percent of all carbamates and organophosphates in harvested food are produced by the plants themselves.

EPA’s reaction: continue banning more organophosphates and carbamate. Carol Browner’s reaction: defend the bans. Gore’s reaction: silence.

Fishy Fraud. Under two separate laws, the Fish and Wildlife Service has been collecting an excise tax on fishing and hunting equipment, returning the money to the states for wildlife programs, which have been enormously successful in increasing game and fish populations.

Under the Clinton-Gore administration, millions of dollars have been diverted every year to an account controlled by FWS director Jamie Clark. She’s used the money for such purposes as bonuses for federal and non-government employees, drug programs, and contributions to the People’s Republic of China. Clark’s reaction: stonewall congressional investigators. Gore’s reaction: silence.

Roadless rip-off. For years the environmental fringe has been pushing to make more of America inaccessible to the public. Therefore, the Clinton-Gore campaign–oops, administration–has announced a plan to permanently close off at least 60 million roadless acres of forests to “protect” them.

The plan ignores the fact that as we expanded roads into our National Forests from the early 1930s to the late 1950s, the number of acres lost to forest fires dropped from over 50 million per year to less than 5 million. Forest Service reaction: we’re trying to save the forests. Gore’s reaction: silence . . . it’s controversial, so let Bill do the heavy lifting on this one.

Global warming. No need here to go into how moronic this whole notion is–we thoroughly discredit this scam in every issue. But those who profess to care about the planet, but whose true interest lie is central planning and control of our lives, are convinced they can use the issue to scare Americans into straightjackets.

Suffice it to say here that EPA has been seeking to regulate the production of carbon dioxide–which the agency is expressly forbidden by law from doing. This is a battle raging behind the scenes between EPA and congressional committees. EPA’s reaction: forget the law, we are going to do it anyway.

My reaction: When will Gore break his silence?