In recent days, the Bush administration announced new rules to speed oil shale development across 2 million rocky acres in the West. It scheduled an auction for drilling rights alongside three national parks. It has also set in motion processes to finalize major changes in endangered species protection, allow more mining waste to flow into rivers and streams, and exempt factory farms from air pollution reporting.I'm sure the Central Valley, which has a ton of factory farms AND some of the worst air pollution in the nation (#2 Bakersfield, #3 Visalia, #5 Fresno, #6 Sacramento), will be stoked to hear that.
But hey, it's not like the Bush Administration is poisoning children or anything.
Looking to bolster the fight against childhood lead poisoning, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last month approved a tough new rule aimed at clearing the nation's air of the toxic metal.January 20th can not come soon enough.
A key part of the initiative is a new network of monitors that will track lead emissions from factories. But the Bush administration quietly weakened that provision at the last minute by exempting dozens of polluters from scrutiny, federal documents show.
Critics say the change undermines a rule that otherwise has been widely hailed as a powerful step forward in protecting children's health.