Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Bush Policies: "Unsafe for Children"

Over the weekend, President Bush declared Sunday "Sanctity of Human Life Day" to oppose abortion. He stated:
"We have a responsibility in America to defend the life of the innocent and the powerless,"
Unfortunately, the depth of his concern for the unborn and his stand against abortion, while appealing to his Evangelical Christian supporters is in reality more symbolic than real, as many of the other policies this Administration has supported have worked against the health and well-being of unborn children and the youth of America.

As also reported yesterday, air pollution is a major cause of childhood illness, in particular childhood cancer. As it was related in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health:
Knox says a variety of pollutants that a pregnant mother inhales contributes to the risk of childhood cancers, but emissions of 1,3-butadiene and carbon monoxide carry the highest risks.

Knox concluded that, "Most childhood cancers are probably initiated by close prenatal encounters with one or more of these high emissions sources

Well what has been the record of the Bush Administration on air pollution? In a word disastrous.

During the first administration of President Bush, the Clean Air Act was gutted with changes in the policy of "New Source Review". This law was designed to force power plants and refineries to clean up their act.

As explained by the League of Conservation Voters:
The New Source Review program was designed to reduce air pollution from industrial facilities by requiring them to install up-to-date pollution controls when they make changes that increase air pollution. In 2002 and 2003, the Bush administration changed the rules and created loopholes in the Clean Air Act’s “new source review” program. This rule allowed 17,000 power plants, refineries, and other industrial facilities to install replacement equipment without updating pollution controls, even when the replacement increased air pollution.

Or as Hilton Kelley, the Port Arthur, Texas, Director of the Community In-power and Development Association in Port Arthur and a member of the Refinery Reform Campaign testified to the United States Senate about his specific area:
BASF Corp. - Port Arthur
Jan. 21, 2002, the plant experienced an upset, during a 14-hour period, about 57,000 pounds of benzene, 1,055,000 pounds of ethylene, 675,000 pounds of propylene, 462,000 pounds of butylene, 2,200 pounds of butadiene and 2,200 pounds of toluene were released

As Mr. Kelley states:
New Source Review should be preserved and fully enforced. It is a grave matter of environmental justice to people who need the help of the U.S. Senate to protect their health and the health of innocent children. Going backward to allow refineries to pick a baseline and the other proposals are unthinkable to people living on the fenceline suffering from current levels of pollution.

The policies of this Administration, by yielding to polluters and irresponsible industrial activity, has been to jeopardize the health of all Americans, but especially as we now now, the most defenseless, the young and the unborn.

And what about John Kerry? As reported:
Clean Air Act
In 1990, Kerry was an instrumental leader in efforts to combat the first Bush Administration's attempt to weaken the Clean Air Act, and later pushed legislation to create tougher anti-smog regulations.11
Mercury, NOx, SO2, CO2 Emissions
Kerry is a co-sponsor of the Clean Power Act of 2003, a plan which would cap carbon dioxide emissions from power plants at 1990 levels, reduce SO2 and NOx emissions by 75 percent, and cut mercury pollution by 90 percent

John Kerry, we need you to lead America! We need you to pull our unborn children, our children, and our infirm from the pollution that engulfs us!



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