Tidbits for Political Junkies with Short Attention Spans & Hearty Appetites


Tuesday, April 27, 2004

The Bush Environmental Record

Via the Hamster, we learn of Environment 2004's new report on the Bush Environmental record, aptly titled "Putting Polluters First,"

From the executive summary:

The pattern revealed by laying out the facts demonstrates that the president and his allies are radically committed to sacrificing the public interest in order to promote narrow private interests. It reveals their rejection of facts and science as a basis for public policy. And it reveals the unprecedented degree to which they are willing to intentionally mislead the American people.

Just one example of the literal crap foisted upon the public:
Factory farms. Of all the challenges to clean water, one of the greatest that our nation faces is from so-called “non-point source pollution”— polluted runoff from everything from farms to city streets. Of this challenge, the greatest single component is polluted run-off from the agricultural industry. The Bush administration issued new rules to shield factory farms— giant livestock farms that can house millions of animals— from responsibility for polluting our waters, allowing them to write their own pollution control plans that are withheld not only from the public but also from the states and even from the EPA itself. Keeping the public even more in the dark, the Bush administration failed to require that factory farms monitor groundwater for potential contamination by animal waste. Factory farms generate about 500 million pounds of waste each year. The disposal practice of over-applying manure on land creates contaminated run-off that poses a threat to waterways and drinking water sources. Major livestock producing states generally experience 20 to 30 serious water pollution problems per year involving spills from waste storage lagoons or contaminated runoff.

Operators of giant hog farms are no doubt grateful -- though anyone who lives downstream (or downwind) of one may be decidely less so.

Under the circumstances, I'm not surprised to hear this news: bottled water is now "the second-biggest segment of the beverage industry in the United States, with $8.3 billion in sales in 2003, behind only wine and spirits and beating out beer and coffee."


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