Bush Or The Environment This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   One issue that has been neglected in the current presidential race is the environment and President Bush's environmental policy. In fact, he has none. The policy of the "Environmental President" has been either to do nothing or ignore health concerns (both ours and the planet's) outright. That is one reason I believe he should not be re-elected.

For example, we are losing 70,000 acres of forests per year and lumber companies are allowed to cut down wood in our national parks. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials have testified that they have been pressured by loggers to break environmental laws, while the government has done nothing. Contrary to this current lack of concern, Bush said during his 1988 campaign: "In George Bush, you will have a president who is committed to conservation."

In addition, we dump 5.5 TRILLION gallons of sewage into oceans and rivers. Bush has said that "I'm for taking strong steps - immediately - to protect our oceans." Yet, nothing has been done to cut down water pollution by sewage and medical wastes.

Bush has proclaimed that in 20 years "Every American in every city in America will breathe clean air." Instead, the much-touted Clean Air Act simply assigns lower standards for cities with severe air problems, which means that these cities have a longer time to cut down on pollutants. With 150 million Americans breathing air that is below the government's lowest safety standard, can we afford to wait and do nothing? New amendments to the Clean Air Act promise that we will reduce oil use by 3.5 million barrels and that we will increase electrical generation from reusable fuel sources like solar energy by ten percent by the year 2010. Big deal!! We need much more than a few cosmetic cuts here and there to actually preserve the environment. Some of these cuts might actually be illusionary anyway, as the government's current program for controlling greenhouse effect-causing gases will actually lead to an increase in their entry into the atmosphere following the year 2000 , only eight years from now! We are moving in the wrong direction. There seems to be no real energy and conservation policy, only manipulation of statistics and empty slogans. If Bush is re-elected (and I hope he is not), he has to stop sparing the policy and start sparing the rhetoric if he wants to be known as the "Environmental President." n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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