Thursday :: Feb 7, 2008

Culture of Life


by Turkana
LADY ANNE
Villain, thou know'st no law of God nor man:
No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity.

GLOUCESTER
But I know none, and therefore am no beast.

-Richard III; Act I, Scene II

Bush's war on life itself continues. And just in case you thought it was only human life Bush is intent on destroying, take comfort in knowing that he's an equal opportunity maniac. There's good news and bad news.

The bad news is that, against all odds, Bush has decided drilling for oil is more important than the survival of polar bears. I know- shocking, huh? From the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming:

For the Bush administration, today is the last day to list the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act before going ahead with an oil lease sale in the polar bear’s habitat. That oil drilling sale happens tomorrow.

Yesterday, however, Interior Department Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, whose office supervises both decisions, indicated that the delays on the polar bear decision under his watch will not prevent the oil lease sale from occurring, and went so far as to say the two issues -- oil drilling and the survival of the polar bear -- are not interconnected.

“The Bush administration is making the absurd claim that these two issues—drilling for oil in a polar bear habitat, and the survival of the polar bear—are not interconnected,” said Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. “In fact, they are intimately connected, in law, in science, and in Secretary Kempthorne’s own office, where the extraction of oil is being given preference over the endangered status of an entire species.”

Despite global warming, despite pollution, despite species extinctions, this Administration wants to suck every last drop of oil out of the earth, no matter where, no matter the consequences.

“This administration’s ‘drill first, ask questions later’ energy policy cannot continue,” continued Chairman Markey. “It is time to put the interests of an industry awash in profits aside for just a moment and consider the vast impacts the Bush administration’s foolish decisions have on an imperiled species and on the planet.”

But there is also some good news to report, from the San Francisco Chronicle:

A federal judge today rejected President Bush's attempt to exempt the Navy from environmental laws protecting endangered whales from sound waves caused by underwater sonar blasts during anti-submarine training off the Southern California coast.

Bush issued an order Jan. 15 that sought to override the judge's order limiting the Navy's use of sonar in Channel Islands waters frequented by whales and other marine mammals. The president said the restrictions would interfere with military exercises that are "essential to national security."

But U.S. District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper of Los Angeles said today that Bush lacked authority in this case to suspend the National Environmental Policy Act, on which her earlier order was based.

That law requires federal agencies to examine environmental damage that their actions might cause and propose measures to prevent the harm. Cooper - who had previously found that the Navy failed to follow those requirements - said that federal regulations, in place since 1978, allow the president to override the environmental law only in an emergency.

Judges. The last possible recourse to stop rogue administrations. And yet another reason why we need vote for the Democratic nominee for president- no matter who that turns out to be.

Turkana :: 12:21 PM :: Comments (12) :: Digg It!