President Bush moved quickly after the 2000 election to fill many of the important environmental and energy jobs with corporate lobbyists who had spent their careers trying to weaken the laws they would then swear to protect. Most were vetted by Karl Rove and Dick Cheney. The result has been an erosion of the regulatory framework protecting the country's air, water, public lands and wildlife, combined with a chronic unwillingness by the administration to address difficult environmental issues.
Anyone needing evidence of industry's influence need look no further than Andrew C. Revkin's article in Wednesday's Times involving the handiwork of one Philip Cooney, an important but heretofore obscure official who serves as chief of staff of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
Mr. Cooney spent his immediate pre-White House years as a lawyer at the American Petroleum Institute, where he helped organize the oil industry's fight against limits on greenhouse gas emissions from factories and automobiles. Mr. Revkin reported that Mr. Cooney had been fighting the same fight in his new job by sanitizing government reports in an effort to cast doubt on the link - a link accepted by mainstream scientists - between climate change and the emissions caused by burning fossil fuels.
I'll leave you with the words of Bobby Kennedy Jr., printed in RollingStone 11 Dec 2003 issue, which unfortunately come closer to complete fruition every day W, Rove and Co. are at work:
George W. Bush will go down in history as America's worst environmental president. In a ferocious three-year attack, the Bush administration has initiated more than 200 major rollbacks of America's environmental laws, weakening the protection of our country's air, water, public lands and wildlife. Cloaked in meticulously crafted language designed to deceive the public, the administration intends to eliminate the nation's most important environmental laws by the end of the year. Under the guidance of Republican pollster Frank Luntz, the Bush White House has actively hidden its anti-environmental program behind deceptive rhetoric, telegenic spokespeople, secrecy and the intimidation of scientists and bureaucrats.