The ink is barely dry on the State of the Union Address, and President George W. Bush is already breaking one of his promises. The compassionate conservative made a pledge in his Jan. 29 address to protect the environment.
Now, there is word from the West Coast that logging guidelines in the Sierra Forest, originally drafted in 2000, are to be relaxed, allowing more logging in the region. The relaxation of these rules is a direct message to Americans that Bush will say what is necessary to get applause but will back down when push comes to shove.
The new laws would allow logging in areas of the Sierra that the region hasn’t seen in more than a decade, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times Tuesday. However, the extent of the logging is not the issue. The issue stems from Bush’s willingness to pay lip service to environmentalists during his State of the Union Address and then renege on his promises for the environment.
According to the transcript of the address, available on C-SPAN.org, Bush said, “I ask you (Congress) to take a crucial step, and protect our environment in ways that generations before us could not have imagined.” Allowing loggers to create thousands of tree-less acres in the Sierra is not protecting the environment.
If the president believes that a hydrogen-powered car is really on the horizon, then the United States must be able to find a way to generate power, paper and other wood manufactured products instead of cutting down trees that have stood for decades.
President Bush has faced many challenges during his presidency, but making promises he has no intentions to keep is grounds for impeachment and nothing less.
If the environment is really important to the president, then he should make laws to protect every aspect of it, not just selective ones. Americans and the U.S. administration must do whatever it can to protect resources that it may never get back.