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[GreenYes] Construction Magazine Editorial for Protecting the Environment
For your information:  In response to the results of recent federal
elections, the engineering construction magazine Engineering News-Record
carried the following editorial on November 18th in favor of environmental
protection It is also on the magazine's web page at

The Election Is No Mandate On the Environment
The first two years of the Bush administration have been marked by a
rollback of environmental policy. Since President Nixon created the
Environmental Protection Agency, state and federal regulators have made
steady progress toward cleaner land, air and water. EPA administrators from
both parties generally have pushed to use technological innovation and
regulatory oversight to improve the nation's backyards and waterways.
So far, the Bush administration has fought Congress over oil drilling in
Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, rejected the global warming treaty
in Kyoto, allowed mountaintop removal coal mining and supported coalbed
methane mining on public lands. While we do not take issue with every one of
these actions, they do indicate a troubling trend.
The Republican return to Senate power has environmentalists worried about
the Energy and Natural Resources and Public Works committees. Last year, the
League of Conservation Voters rated the voting records of the new chairmen,
Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) and James Inhofe (R-Okla.), as pro-environment only
8% and 0% of the time, respectively. And the White House held off on its new
source review policy under the Clean Air Act before the election. Remember,
being pro-environment does not necessarily mean being anti-construction.
Industry firms reported $28 billion in domestic revenue in 2001 from
environmental markets (ENR 7/8 p. 34).
The Bush administration is rightly credited with a big election victory. But
that victory should not be seen as a mandate for the administration's
environmental policy. In a nation under foreign threat and recovering from a
recession, environmental issues did not top the voters' priority list. But
that doesn't mean that voters don't care about the environment. It would be
a mistake for the administration to spend its political capital at the
environment's expense.

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