sam's notes

notes on government, sports and popular culture

Friday, October 22, 2004

The Property and Environment Research Center has given President Bush a C+ for his environmental policy.

Now, a C+ might not seem that good to us intellectual types. Besides, there are many groups out there who would give Bush an F for environmental policy.

But here's the catch: PERC is dedicated to "improving environmental quality through markets."

The report card is on PDF, which can be downloaded from PERC's home page. Here are some excerpts:

Air quality: Grade F

"Activists have created the impression that the Bush administration has virtually ended air pollution regulation in the United States. In reality, the administration has taken a series of actions that will eliminate the vast majority of remaining air emissions.
With few exceptions, the administration has continued and expanded Clinton-era policies."

Chemical plant security: Grade B+

"In general, the Bush administration has acted responsibly in dealing with the threats to security that could come from chemical facilites."

Drinking water and arsenic: Grade C+

"The Safe Drinking Water Act is fundamentallly flawed. Even so, after inheriting the Clinton 'midnight regulation' on arsenic, the Bush administration had a chance to save small rural towns from enormous expense. Instead, it kept the stringent rule forcing communities to reduce arsenic to extremely low levels, even where the chemical enters the water naturally. The high costs and minimal benefits will reduce the welfare of many families who will be forced to pay high prices for water."

Global climate change: Grade B-

"Given the uncertain state of scientific knowledge and the economic flaws of the Kyoto Protocol, the Bush administration was right to reject the protocol and to keep reductions of carbon emissions on a voluntary basis. But the administration has not been successful at explaining the reasons for these decisions."

Superfund and brownfields: Grade C-

"For the most part, the Bush administration is not doing anything different from the Clinton administration. The one exception was its appropriate opposition to renewal of the Superfund tax on corporations. The tax was touted as 'polluter pays,' but in fact it taxed corporations simply because they were in a business that might pollute."


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