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Just take the environment into consideration when voting for elected officials

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2006/9/17 23:07
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I don't mean to turn this into some sort of political diatribe but the environment is one of the main factors that I look at when considering to vote for a candidate. Please read this article becuase it simply shows how the laws enacted to protect our environment have been disabled to protect& serve special interests.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19448394/
WASHINGTON - Sue Ellen Wooldridge, the 19th-ranking Interior Department official, arrived at her desk in Room 6140 a few months after Inauguration Day 2001. A phone message awaited her.

"This is Dick Cheney," said the man on her voice mail, Wooldridge recalled in an interview. "I understand you are the person handling this Klamath situation. Please call me at -- hmm, I guess I don't know my own number. I'm over at the White House."

Wooldridge wrote off the message as a prank. It was not. Cheney had reached far down the chain of command, on so unexpected a point of vice presidential concern, because he had spotted a political threat arriving on Wooldridge's desk.

In Oregon, a battleground state that the Bush-Cheney ticket had lost by less than half of 1 percent, drought-stricken farmers and ranchers were about to be cut off from the irrigation water that kept their cropland and pastures green. Federal biologists said the Endangered Species Act left the government no choice: The survival of two imperiled species of fish was at stake.

Law and science seemed to be on the side of the fish. Then the vice president stepped in.

First Cheney looked for a way around the law, aides said. Next he set in motion a process to challenge the science protecting the fish, according to a former Oregon congressman who lobbied for the farmers.

Because of Cheney's intervention, the government reversed itself and let the water flow in time to save the 2002 growing season, declaring that there was no threat to the fish. What followed was the largest fish kill the West had ever seen, with tens of thousands of salmon rotting on the banks of the Klamath River.

Characteristically, Cheney left no tracks.

The Klamath case is one of many in which the vice president took on a decisive role to undercut long-standing environmental regulations for the benefit of business.

By combining unwavering ideological positions -- such as the priority of economic interests over protected fish -- with a deep practical knowledge of the federal bureaucracy, Cheney has made an indelible mark on the administration's approach to everything from air and water quality to the preservation of national parks and forests.

It was Cheney's insistence on easing air pollution controls, not the personal reasons she cited at the time, that led Christine Todd Whitman to resign as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, she said in an interview that provides the most detailed account so far of her departure.

The vice president also pushed to make Nevada's Yucca Mountain the nation's repository for nuclear and radioactive waste, aides said, a victory for the nuclear power industry over those with long-standing safety concerns. And his office was a powerful force behind the White House's decision to rewrite a Clinton-era land-protection measure that put nearly a third of the national forests off limits to logging, mining and most development, former Cheney staff members said.

Cheney's pro-business drive to ease regulations, however, has often set the administration on a collision course with the judicial branch.

The administration, for example, is appealing the order of a federal judge who reinstated the forest protections after she ruled that officials didn't adequately study the environmental consequences of giving states more development authority.

And in April, the Supreme Court rejected two other policies closely associated with Cheney. It rebuffed the effort, ongoing since Whitman's resignation, to loosen some rules under the Clean Air Act. The court also rebuked the administration for not regulating greenhouse gases associated with global warming, issuing its ruling less than two months after Cheney declared that "conflicting viewpoints" remain about the extent of the human contribution to the problem.

In the latter case, Cheney made his environmental views clear in public. But with some notable exceptions, he generally has preferred to operate with stealth, aided by loyalists who owe him for their careers.

When the vice president got wind of a petition to list the cutthroat trout in Yellowstone National Park as a protected species, his office turned to one of his former congressional aides.

The aide, Paul Hoffman, landed his job as deputy assistant interior secretary for fish and wildlife after Cheney recommended him. In an interview, Hoffman said the vice president knew that listing the cutthroat trout would harm the recreational fishing industry in his home state of Wyoming and that he "followed the issue closely." In 2001 and again in 2006, Hoffman's agency declined to list the trout as threatened.

Hoffman also was well positioned to help his former boss with what Cheney aides said was one of the vice president's pet peeves: the Clinton-era ban on snowmobiling in national parks. "He impressed upon us that so many people enjoyed snowmobiling in the Tetons," former Cheney aide Ron Christie said.

With Cheney's encouragement, the administration lifted the ban in 2002, and Hoffman followed up in 2005 by writing a proposal to fundamentally change the way national parks are managed. That plan, which would have emphasized recreational use over conservation, attracted so much opposition from park managers and the public that the Interior Department withdrew it. Still, the Bush administration continues to press for expanded snowmobile access, despite numerous studies showing that the vehicles harm the parks' environment and polls showing majority support for the ban.

Hoffman, now in another job at the Interior Department, said Cheney never told him what to do on either issue -- he didn't have to.

"His genius," Hoffman said, is that "he builds networks and puts the right people in the right places, and then trusts them to make well-informed decisions that comport with his overall vision."

Posted on: 2007/6/27 12:38


Re: Just take the environment into consideration when voting for elected officials

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Wmass,

Lucky for you I messed up and deleated my whole response. I am not going to take the time to redo it but in short....This is a political diatribe.

This is clearly an article that is laden with misleading statements. I went to the trouble of pointing them out but.... and will do so again if pressed.

Look I am a conservationist and I agree with your point that we need to evaluate a candidates environmental beliefs when we vote but......

in no particular order
#1 We are a nation at war
#2 Our cities are crumbling from within
#3 immigration
#4 social security
#5 increased dominance on the world stage be russia and china.


I hate to say but in light of the 5 issues above the environment comes dead last.

Even with the biggest pro business president and congress our wild lands would still be better managed than they would be in MOST ANY OTHER COUNTRY.

So go pitch it somewhere else.

Posted on: 2007/7/2 15:20


Re: Just take the environment into consideration when voting for elected officials

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Quote:

ryanh wrote:

So go pitch it somewhere else.


Ah...its that last statement that makes me want to respond, Ryan...first of all, I guess your freedom of speech is more free than Wmass's. He had something to say and he said it. Agree or not, Its just poor manners to tell him to go speak his piece somewhere else.

As for your list..I agree with them all. But remember these (some sarcasm involved) when you say that the environment comes in dead last...

in no particular order

#1 We are a nation at war

we're always at war somewhere...and in my opinion its ot even a war anymore...Its just place we got pissed off at and now we send young capable men and women to be used as targets when we could be using them for better things like some of what you mention in the rest of the list.


#2 Our cities are crumbling from within

Yes they are and where are all the people moving...? To the places we like to go to get away. Malls have replaced downtown shopping...Urban row homes have been replaced by suburban townhomes...Farms and woodlands are being replaced by 300 home developments. Green spaces turned into industrial parks.

#3 immigration

I won't even go there...except to say that for the money, 20 Peruvians working at 5$ per hour can lay a lot more Comcast lines for the money, than 50 union workers. Of course they blow more houses up than a properly trained experienced crew.

#4 social security

Ok, lets say that gets fixed...where you gonna fish when you retire if someone doesn't look after the environment.

#5 increased dominance on the world stage be russia and china

Hey, guess where all the really cool new places to spend a few grand to go and heli-fish are these days...the biggest problem with those 2 countries is that they do more polluting then even the US.

I'm not saying your laundry list isn't valid. But if you have to decide between 2 candidates, all other things being equal, I'll take the guy who has the better environmental voting record. Whats wrong with that considering that one of your passions takes place outdoors.

Especially when you work for an environmental company...

Posted on: 2007/7/2 15:40


Re: Just take the environment into consideration when voting for elected officials

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Tom,

Like I said I agree with WMass that it is important to look at a candidate's stance on conservation issues. I however think that the article he used to articulate his case was a poor choice. My statement about "go pitch it somewhere else" meant that I am not buying the "facts" offered in that article. I have no issue againt WMass's freedom of speach or anyone elses for that matter. I do however think that he hurts OUR cause by using an argument that is so flawed.

Look, I have battled with this in my own heart over the years. I concluded that most of these environmental activists are just anti-establishment folks who use environmentalism as a means to their own ends.

When I worked for the pipeline I used to think "who is actually protecting the tundra". Well it certainly was not the long haired hippies who used to harass me on my way to work.

This is something I take very seriously. I get Edward Abby. I walk the walk. Most of these schmucks don't, and I take great offense to their sanctimonious attitudes. Seriously, Sheryl Crow wants me to use 4 squares of TP.....she uses more energy in ONE of her concerts than my family will in our whole lives. And if I ever saw Al Gore I would take a swing at him. They sell BAD SCIENCE. I should know I am in the business of selling bad science The problem is that the mojority of the populace does not understand what they are saying, or are following the the fad of being pseudo green.

Just so we are all on the same page here are the points I take issue with in that article;


'What followed was the largest fish kill the West had ever seen, with tens of thousands of salmon rotting on the banks of the Klamath River. '

-These were Pacific Salmon. They ALL die EVERY year. This statment while true does not mean anything. They don't say that the polocy change is what killed the salmon. They just said that the salmon died. If they spawned before the croaked and the farmers got adequate water than that is EFFECTIVE resource management. It does not have to be either/or. Also as you well know the ecosystem of the pacific northwest is relient upon the "salmon rotting on the banks"

"It was Cheney's insistence on easing air pollution controls"

-The idea of tradeable air permits have been around for a long time and are highly effective. Yes some places may emit more polution under this plan but on a whole the level goes down. It gives business a carrot and a stick, not just the stick. They now have an incentive to innovate their processes, and they can sell they're unused credits at a profit. EVERYBODY wins.


"The vice president also pushed to make Nevada's Yucca Mountain the nation's repository for nuclear and radioactive waste, aides said, a victory for the nuclear power industry over those with long-standing safety concerns."

-the fact is that the waste has to go somewhere. There is noplace in the country that would make these people happy.


And keep in mind that the environement, at the end of the day, is an ancilary issue in the whole scheme of things.

I would personally kill every brook trout in Pennsylvania and protected cutthroat in Yellowstone if it garunteed that my family would forever be safe from a suicide bomber. This illustration is not as ridiculus as it seems on its face if you look at the people running our governemnt today.

Posted on: 2007/7/3 9:47


Re: Just take the environment into consideration when voting for elected officials

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RYANH I think you should read the entire article before jumping to conclusions. There are several things that are clearly FACT--> Cheney made the easing of regulations on the Klamath river a priority to aide farmers, the Klamath river salmon stocks then suffered from one of hte worst fish-kills in history and it decimated that commercial fishing industry on the west coast, we (OUR TAX DOLLARS) are currently paying for this little F--k up because we now are forced to bail out the fishing industry due to poor conservation efforts.

TOM Brings up several points about what is important to me personally. The war is important but frankly it isn't something I support at all, mainly because Iraq was poorly planned and executed; meanwhile our national debt grows and Afghanistan is getting worse. I did support our mission in Afghanistan though.

Our cities are a disaster, but that is mainly because people are abandoning them in droves to live in rural areas, which makes conservation even more of an issue. As people flock to rural areas we are going to see a continued "crunch" on natural resources like water; which will directly effect you when your favorite stream is bone dry.

It isn't bad science to conserve what little we have left.

Posted on: 2007/7/3 10:44


Re: Just take the environment into consideration when voting for elected officials

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2006/9/10 21:53
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I know what you are saying ryan...I watched this really great documentary on the ANWAR last night...not because i've made up my mind on the issue but because it was really well shot and well put together. (that and the cat was mesmerized by the sounds) anyway, It was rather one sided as many documentaries are. Mostly because they need funded and you can't fence sit and collect money from both sides of an issue. It doesn't happen. The point is...Wmass used an article to back up his point...Frankly, I didn't even read the article. I read his statement and I didn't care what the article said because he'd already gotten his point across to me.

This thought really troubles me

..."I would personally kill every brook trout in Pennsylvania and protected cutthroat in Yellowstone if it garunteed that my family would forever be safe from a suicide bomber."

While I agree with the emotion and sentiment of the comment it begs the question...What the hell are we fighting and dieing for if we are willing to have nothing and just exist?

Posted on: 2007/7/3 11:31


Re: Just take the environment into consideration when voting for elected officials
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2006/9/9 9:29
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Quote:

tomgamber wrote:

This thought really troubles me

..."I would personally kill every brook trout in Pennsylvania and protected cutthroat in Yellowstone if it garunteed that my family would forever be safe from a suicide bomber."

While I agree with the emotion and sentiment of the comment it begs the question...What the hell are we fighting and dieing for if we are willing to have nothing and just exist?


Or more importantly, after spending 100s of Billions, is there any guarantee that we are safe from suicide bombers, or even safer. I answer: No.

Posted on: 2007/7/3 12:08
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Re: Just take the environment into consideration when voting for elected officials

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WMass,
We are clearly at different ends of the spectrum and will never come to understand each others points of view however... i did read your whole article.

I don't agree with what happened in Klamath. I simply said the statements were misleading. If you want my opinion Cheney sould have told the farmers to go pound sand. I don't want the government subsudizing ANY industry. Also they sould not now be subsidizing the Fishing people. Raise the price of salmon to reflect the disaster.

As far as the urban sprawl goes.. I am on both sides of that issue. Who is the government to tell a man where he can live? Yet really good planning and zoning accomplishes this, people are hapy and comunities may be built sustainably.


Tom,
I am troubled too. Its very sad but we are in dire straights.

Our way of life is unique in this country. There is a lot of bad but there is way more good. When the feces hits the fan nobody is really going to care about this stuff anyhow. What is it? Maslow's hiearchy of needs... Thank God the three of us can sit here (at work) and debate this.

Posted on: 2007/7/3 12:11


Re: Just take the environment into consideration when voting for elected officials

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2006/10/2 9:49
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I agree with you ryanh about what our top concerns should be and that the environment may have to take a back seat at times. My biggest concern is that this administration is so easily distracted and continuously take their eye off the ball by focusing on undoing environmental policies (for their own personal interest) that are currently in place to protect the future of the environment. If they would focus that attention on the "bigger" issues that you pointed out then maybe our environment would be in a lot better shape.

One other thing...
You could kill all the brookies and all the cutthroats and anything else that you like but the sad fact of the matter is that there will never be any way to guarantee our families the safety they deserve from a terrorist attack.

Have a happy and safe 4th of July.

GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Posted on: 2007/7/3 14:38


Re: Just take the environment into consideration when voting for elected officials

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2006/9/18 8:28
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This is going to be brief. It will also be blunt and perhaps not very pretty. If it violates the standing rules of the forum either in letter or spirit, I will understand if it is deleted and offer my apology in advance.

In her introduction of her husband at the 2000 Republican Convention, Lynn Cheney said the following:

"In order to understand Dick Cheney, you have to understand fly fishing". She then went on to cite a number of parallels that (in her mind..) existed between the sport and Mr. Cheney.

I cannot remember a thing I have ever heard in American politics that rang more falsely or frankly, blasphemously than her remarks. They enraged me.

I am a firm believer that if you participate in this sport and if you suggest you care about it, you do not set out to harm the resource that supports the sport as Mr. Cheney has done repeatedly.

In my view, Mr. Cheney has no more ethical or moral right to participate in recreational angling than a child molester has to volunteer at a day care center.

He should sell all his tackle and take up golf or (perhaps more in line with his disposition), frightening small children. That would be the right thing for him to do. He is not worthy to fish.

He is reprehensible, IMO...

Posted on: 2007/7/3 16:22


Re: Just take the environment into consideration when voting for elected officials

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I hear you don't want to be a companion hunter with him either....DUCK!!!!

Posted on: 2007/7/3 16:33


Re: Just take the environment into consideration when voting for elected officials
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Quote:

tomgamber wrote:
....DUCK!!!!


I thought it was pheasant they were hunting....

Posted on: 2007/7/3 17:00
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Re: Just take the environment into consideration when voting for elected officials

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It was, but he should have "ducked".

Posted on: 2007/7/3 21:55


Re: Just take the environment into consideration when voting for elected officials

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i agree with wmass point. i didnt read the article, but i see no harm in taking the enviroment into consideration. no matter what is going on this country at some point we have to look to our officals to protect our resources. after all.....then what are we fighting for on this forum? it isnt just our army that protects this county, its also enviromental minded people....just like us.

Posted on: 2007/7/4 10:16
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