Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Military Pollution: Bush Administration Accommodates, John Kerry Opposed.

As reported in the December 27, 2004, New York Times, the Military, under George W. Bush, has been moving ahead in reducing environmental requirements of its own activities in the name of "national security."

As reported:
The draft revisions eliminate the reference to environmental security, and emphasize instead that it is the Pentagon's role to sustain the national defense mission. Potential risks to the environment and worker safety, it says, should be addressed as part of a larger effort to manage risks, save money and preserve readiness.

And when was the original policy of the Pentagon developed? Under that scandalous Democrat, President Bill Clinton. As was reported:
The 1996 directive was produced under the Clinton administration, at a time of heightened concern over environmental issues. It was unclear when the revised draft directive might go into effect.

But the copy made available on the Web site of an environmental group made it clear that it represented a fundamentally different philosophy. Kyla Bennett, leader of the New England chapter of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, which released the directive, said the draft policy "says, 'We'll do whatever we have to do under the cloak of readiness and national security.' " Ms. Bennett added, "It's discouraging to me that the Department of Defense uses the terrorist attacks as a cloak to excuse themselves from environmental laws."

And what about John Kerry? As the League of Conservation Voters wrote, in their assessment of Kerry:
With a history of engagement that extends back to the first Earth Day in 1970,Senator Kerry is one of America 's premier environmental leaders. His voting record has earned him the highest lifetime LCV ranking of all the presidential candidates, and he has taken a leadership role in promoting higher fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks, combating attempts to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and in overturning efforts to weaken the Clean Air Act. On a range of domestic issues -from clean air to clean water to public lands -Kerry has repeatedly staked out pro-environment positions. His record on international issues is equally distinguished: he sponsored legislation to incorporate environmental protections into trade negotiations and has participated in international climate change negotiations beginning at the 1992 Earth Summit and extending through Kyoto. In his run for the presidency, Kerry has made the environment a central issue, devoting several significant forums to his plans for environmental action if elected.

And specifically, what about the Military and Military-related pollution? Senator Kerry has a record on fighting for the environment and keeping the military responsible for its environmental actions. As reported, in regards to the 2001 Defense Budget:
If Sen. John Kerry's (D-Mass.) amendment flies, the Department of Defense (DOD) would be subject to large environmental fines without the protection of prior congressional approval.

Kerry will try to have Section 342 of the 2001 defense authorization bill eliminated, Celeste Hughes, a Kerry defense legislative aide, told DC June 7. That section would require a special vote of Congress before DOD would be allowed to pay environmental fines or penalties above $1.5 million.

The authorization measure is being debated on the Senate floor. Hughes could not say when Kerry's amendment would be introduced. As DC went to press, speculation centered on June 9.

The penalty section has drawn fire from environmental activists and state officials. The Sierra Club is campaigning to eliminate the measure by asking individuals and organizations to sign on to a letter directed at members of the Senate.

"The $1.5 million cap in this bill language could create a perverse incentive for the DOD, encouraging the military to engage in especially egregious behavior," the letter says. It says the provision was added "specifically in response to a large environmental fine proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at Fort Wainwright, Alaska." That is Sen. Ted Stevens' (R-Alaska) bailiwick.

State groups believe the senator will try to put the measure in defense appropriations legislation.

While being strong on national security is admirable. Using this as a 'cover' to weaken the responsibilities of every branch of this Government to protect the environment is shameful.

John Kerry, our air, our water, our land, and our very well-being cries out to you! Pull us all from the water Senator Kerry! If not in 2004, we need you in 2008!



Blogger steaknswiss said...

I agree with you. The Bush administration has declared war against many enviromental protections and is now using our "national security" as an excuse to further his cause. I hope we can make people understand how destructive many of the President's ideas really are.I to wish to hear Sen. Kerry speak up in oposition to this latest Bush manoeuver.
Thank you for this site. I want to see Kerry run again for President in 2008. Keeping his name alive and informing people about his well thought out and researched positions is very important!

10:55 PM  
Blogger BobsAdvice said...

Thanks for your supportive comments. I think that John Kerry is indeed one of the best and the brightest of the Democrats. As a Senator, he was forced to make many decisions and support many issues that could easily be manipulated to look like "fli-flopping". But he has been right on Vietnam, right on the Environment, right on the management of Iraq, right on Women's issues.
Quite frankly, he is still right for America!
Keep on visiting, posting, and encourage your friends to stop by!


2:51 PM  

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