No Trees

Bush is implementing the “stop fires by getting rid of the trees” scam to reward logging company campaign contributors, even though Congress rejected the plan. He’s going ahead anyway, challenging opponents to take it to the courts, which he is packing with Federalist Society ideological zealots (like the one who this week dismissed the lawsuit asking Cheney to reveal exactly how many Enron lobbyists formulated the Bush energy policy.)

“The administration said the rules, rejected by Congress this fall, would reduce bureaucracy and speed projects to thin brush and trees over more than 190 million acres of national forests and rangelands — an area twice the size of California.”

The key words are “rejected by Congress this fall”. Here’s some more key words:

“On Nov. 22, the Environmental Protection Agency announced changes to the Clean Air Act that would allow older factories, oil refineries and power plants to refurbish without having to install modern air-pollution technology. Five days later, the Forest Service announced that it would no longer require environmental impact statements for the 15-year plans that govern logging, mining, ski resorts and grazing on the nation’s 155 national forests.”

and

“But critics said the timber industry and the Bush administration are forcing through rules with loopholes that will allow large trees — more fire resistant and worth more money when logged — to be removed instead of the more flammable and problematic brush and young, thin trees.”

Never mind the law, never mind public opinion, we’re going ahead. We’ll have the old-growth trees cut before you can rally to stop us, and then they won’t be a problem anymore.