Science, common sense returning to Washington

The Bush administration brought extremist business and extremist religious views to Washington and the results have been similar across the board. The Bush EPA has consistently been more concerned about what polluters need to help reduce costs as opposed to what is good for the environment where Americans live and work. The Interior Department sides with wealthy cattle ranchers and posh hunting resorts instead of bothering to protect endangered wildlife. Changing organizations that have been stocked full of GOP fringe ideologues is going to take time and money but it has to happen. Whether the GOP likes it or not, science needs to be the key factor in decision making and not religious theory.

The agencies have different mandates — the EPA holds sway over air and water pollution, while Interior administers the nation’s vast federal land holdings as well as the Endangered Species Act — but both deal with some of the country’s most pressing environmental concerns, such as climate change. And over the past eight years, many career employees and rank-and-file scientists have clashed with Bush appointees over a number of those of issues, including whether the federal government should allow California to regulate tailpipe emissions from automobiles and how best to prevent imperiled species from disappearing altogether.

In June 2007, Obama told reporters in Reno, Nev., that he would not hesitate to reverse many of the environmental policies Bush has enacted by executive order.

“I think the slow chipping away against clean air and clean water has been deeply disturbing,” Obama added. “Much of it hasn’t gone through Congress. It was done by fiat. That is something that can be changed by an administration, in part by reinvigorating the EPA, which has been demoralized.”

Global warming policies are expected to mark one of the sharpest breaks between the Obama and the Bush administrations.

An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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