BUSH AND THE ENVIRONMENT….Former Interior Secretary Stewart Udall writes today about the environment and the Bush administration:

From 1961 to 1981, every president ? Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford and Carter ? gave his unwavering support to environmental reforms. Richard Nixon set a high goal by declaring that the 1970s should be the “environmental decade.” He created the Environmental Protection Agency and approved laws to protect endangered species.

As the country moved rightward with Reagan, the rhetoric may have been negative, but in the end no effort was made to repeal important environmental laws. George H.W. Bush had a positive record, and although Bill Clinton was stymied by a hostile Congress, he used his executive powers to achieve positive results.

Overall, it’s a record that bolsters my thesis that this administration is rowing against the tide of American history….Bush and company have not put forward a single positive new conservation concept. They have systematically lowered pollution regulations to please favored industries. They have allowed park and forest maintenance to be neglected and under-funded. I view these events and developments with dismay. This is a time for straight talk, for those who love the land to make their voices heard before more damage is done to the resources we all own.

Bush has the worst environmental record of any president in history. The only silver lining is that America is a big place and there’s only so much damage that can be done in four years.

Assuming, of course, that four years is all he gets….

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