|June 12, 2008|
|President Bush II Emerges as Nation's Best Environmental President|
|By Kevin McCauley|
|George W. Bush has done more to better the environment than any Commander-in-Chief since TR. |
Okay, it was an accident. Call it the “law of unintended consequences,” but give credit where credit is due.
The President’s reckless economic policy of tax cuts combined with the specter of war without end in Iraq/Iran/Afghanistan/Pakistan has contributed mightily to the demise of the U.S. dollar. Worldwide confidence in the U.S. dollar is kaput.
The price of oil is pegged to the value of the ever-cheapening dollar, which is among reasons why the sheiks say they are jacking up prices. Things have gotten so out of whack, “our friends the Saudis” have called for an emergency summit on oil prices.
The silver lining of Bush’s mismanagement: things are pretty rosy on the environmental front. The President has single-handedly achieved what environmentalists failed to do for years: end America’s love affair with the SUV.
General Motors has put the Hummer, the symbol of SUV excess, division on the auction block. Americans are abandoning their gas-guzzling SUVs as fast as they can push them to dealerships, trading them in for compacts that are unfortunately produced mostly by Japanese automakers. [Toyota thinks it may outsell GM here this year, dealing another psychological blow to Detroit’s Shrinking Three.]
Dubya’s policies ensure there will be lower levels of pollution this summer as families drive less because they can’t afford to pay for gas that costs $4 a-gallon and rising. Cash-strapped airlines are canceling flights — and laying off tens of thousands — because they can’t afford pump prices “Staycation” is now a travel industry buzz word. “Nocation” may be more apt.
The New York Times ran a June 9 front page story about rural workers doing their bit for Mother Earth by involuntarily reducing their carbon footprints. They are forced to give up jobs with long commutes because gas prices are out of reach.
Cleveland Whiteside, of Mississippi, is the poster boy of Bush’s environmental achievement. Whiteside had his Jeep Cherokee repossessed because he “paid so much for gas to get to work, I couldn’t pay my payments anymore,” he told the Times. Tim Slack, a sociologist at Louisiana State University, added: “As gas prices rise, working less could be the economically rational choice.”
The President has more good news for the environment. His saber-rattling over Iran (“All options remain on the table”) over its nuclear program has the world’s energy markets on edge. Crude now priced at $134.66 will easily shatter the $200 mark if Iran’s nuclear facilities are attacked.
That would keep even more Americans off the roads, and spur a Marshall Plan-like development of alternative fuels under an Obama Administration.
Greenpeace might find the words hard to say, but its leaders should salute the President with a toast of “Bushie, You’re Doing a Heckuva Job!
Return to Latest News