Senator Jeffords blasts Bush on environment
Vermont independent Sen. James Jeffords, who will give up the gavel of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee when Republicans take over the Senate in January, said Bush is rolling back protections for clean air and water, cutting Superfund site cleanups and clearing new oil and gas drilling on national lands.
"Unfortunately, on environmental issues our president is moving us backward instead of leading us forward," Jeffords said, delivering the weekly radio address on behalf of Democrats.
Jeffords also said provisions in the new law creating a Homeland Security Department will make it harder for people to learn of dangerous chemicals near their homes.
Bush policies allowing power plants to avoid installing simple anti-pollution equipment when they modernize will lead to so many extra premature deaths from plant pollution that it would be like enduring the the equivalent of a "Pearl Harbor every 30 days," Jeffords said.
Bush's "departure from the Clean Air Act will prolong the life of out-of-date power plants belching out pollution, not only contributing to growing rates of childhood asthma, but also to the unsightly haze that taints the beauty of our magnificent parks and scenic vistas," Jeffords said.
Jeffords said the environment had not always been a partisan issue, and he noted that he had worked with Bush's father, former President George Bush, to toughen clean air legislation.