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Jewish World Review April 25, 2001 / 3 Iyar, 5761

David Limbaugh

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Consumer Reports


Bush should give greens a red light


http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- I'M hoping Christie Todd Whitman's recently expressed ambivalence about drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a false alarm. Now is not the time for fecklessness from the Bush administration on energy policy.

It is important that Bush stick with his campaign pledge to increase domestic oil production generally and tap into ANWR specifically. There are no new facts that would justify an about face by Bush on these issues. The only thing that has changed is that Bush has taken some courageous stands on environmental issues and thereby aroused the public ire of environmentalists.

But he will have their eternal ire no matter what he does short of complete capitulation and homage to the earth goddess Gaia. If he backs away from his commitment to a responsible energy policy now he will also earn the displeasure of his conservative base, which is counting on him to govern on principle and not cave to the formidable political pressure of the green groups.

Democratic Sens. Lieberman and Kerry, sensing that Bush is vulnerable on environmental issues, have each been attacking Bush in their dueling effort to pander to their extremist constituencies with a view toward a 2004 presidential run.

Lieberman told "Face the Nation" that he might subpoena documents that the EPA used to justify its recent rescission of certain Clinton administration initiatives. Kerry slammed Bush for cutbacks on energy conservation and alternative fuel programs.

These senators are not the only ones piling on the administration. The eco-extremists have all but painted Bush as a mad scientist deliberately poisoning our water with arsenic. The ceaseless barrage is apparently having an impact. Interior Secretary Gail Norton defensively denied that the Bush administration was hostile toward the environment and lamented that the Bush team had failed "to get our message across."

With all due respect, Secretary Norton, this has nothing to do with the administration's communication skills. I repeat, you will not pacify the extremists, no matter how polished your tongue. As one activist from the National Wildlife Federation promised, "We're going to continue to put pressure on the administration ... every step of the way from here on."

President Bush has done an admirable job so far of governing on principle and ignoring the polls. If he continues to allow his Cabinet members to vacillate, however, he'll appear to be holding his finger in the wind. Perhaps it's time for another trip to the woodshed for Secretary Whitman.

Sometimes it's tough to govern as a conservative because environmental groups are adept at propaganda and distorting facts. In this area, as in others, the facts and actual science must control, not emotions and junk science. Let's take a look at some of the facts:

  • ANWR contains 17.5 million acres, and Bush only plans to explore for oil on 1.5 million of them, which is around 8 percent. More importantly, if oil is discovered, less than 2,000 of those acres would be affected.

  • It is estimated that the exploration would create between 250,000 and 735,000 new jobs. Similar projects have added tens of billions of dollars to the nation's economy in the past. The federal government itself would reap an estimated windfall of billions of dollars from companies bidding for the right to drill.

  • Scientists estimate that there are between 6 and 18 billion barrels of recoverable oil, which would measurably decrease United States dependence on foreign oil. At present, we import more than 55 percent of our petroleum.

  • Contrary to environmental hysteria, oil and gas production in the region would not pose a significant threat to wildlife in the region. Modern technology has led to drilling and production techniques that involve limited impact. In other areas of similar production, such as Prudhoe Bay, the caribou population has grown dramatically (sevenfold) despite the apocalyptic predictions of the doomsayers.

  • More than 75 percent of Alaskans support exploration and production in ANWR.

  • National Review magazine has brilliantly exposed the flip-flop of the major media on the issue, demonstrating that both the New York Times and Washington Post editorialized in favor of ANWR exploration not too many years ago and downplayed the environmental risks attached.

I know these facts are inconvenient for single-issue environmentalists, but President Bush has to consider them and weigh other concerns, such as our energy needs and the economic ramifications involved. May the facts and not political pressure guide his decision.



David Limbaugh, a columnist and attorney apracticing in Cape Girardeau, Mo., is the author of the just-released exposť about corruption in the Clinton-Reno Justice Department, "Absolute Power." Send your comments to him by clicking here.

Up

04/23/01: Is war with China inevitable?
04/18/01: BP Amoco: Green or greenbacks?
04/16/01: Bush passes first test
04/12/01: 'Courting' politics
04/10/01: The anti-growth club
04/04/01: Campaign finance reform fallacies
04/02/01: How to destroy a nation
03/28/01: Double trouble for Dubya
03/26/01: Bush seeks Israeli security, not a peace prize
03/21/01: Bush tax cuts and Dem distortions
03/19/01: Celebrating disbarment
03/14/01: Campaign cold feet and Democratic hypocrisy
03/12/01: Missiles, berets, morale and diplomacy
03/07/01: The GOP and race revisited
03/05/01: Dems and the ghost of 2002
02/28/01: Common threads in Clinton pardons
02/26/01: Clinton defenders should apologize
02/22/01: Clinton woos media as Bush governs
02/20/01: Liberal idealism: Where have all the flowers gone?
02/14/01: The Clintons and selective media outrage
02/12/01: Bush's tax cut challenge: A historical view
02/07/01: Democrats' Dubya dilemma
02/05/01: Dubya is confounding the media
01/29/01: The Teamsters, the DNC and the reformers
01/29/01: The Old Limey
01/25/01: Clintonís disgraceful departure
01/22/01: Ashcroft: Principle above self
01/17/01: Justice for Riady?
01/15/01: Ashcroft: A hill to die on
01/10/01: Returning to the supply side
01/08/01: Reasons for optimism
01/03/01: Bush's daunting challenges
12/28/00: Ashcroft: A triumph for the rule of law
12/26/00: A tinge of revenge?
12/20/00: GOP: Breaking the race barrier
12/18/00: Civility doesn't require surrender
12/13/00: Al Gore: Innocent victimizer
12/11/00: Judicial restraint and ordered liberty
12/06/00: The four years war
12/04/00: Debunking Gore myths
11/29/00: Defending the smaller principles
11/27/00: Albert O'Gore and the little people
11/22/00: Doing 'anything to win'
11/15/00: Enough is enough, Mr. Gore
11/13/00: Al Gore: Thy country or thyself?
11/08/00: Bill and Al: Your time is up
11/06/00:The impending Bush mandate
11/01/00: Can't stop thinkin' 'bout tomorrow
10/30/00: George: Give Gore the ball back
10/25/00: Mr. Gore: A few more questions
10/23/00: It's the big government, stupid
10/18/00: Gore's down, so will he panic?
10/16/00: We're fresh out of new Al Gores
10/11/00: Gore: Fuzzy math = dirty politics
10/10/00:Gore: Renaissance man or unbalanced?
10/04/00: Where have you been, Albert Jr.?
10/02/00: Clintonís fragmented presidency
09/27/00: Liberal media doth protest too much
09/25/00: AlGore: Turning dreams into nightmares
09/20/00: Something fishy's going on
09/18/00: It's the liberalism, stupid
09/13/00: An open letter to open-minded cynics
09/11/00: The virtues of going negative
09/06/00: On a mission for marriage
09/04/00: Al Gore's 'Trivial Pursuits'
08/30/00: Lieberman and the paradox of liberal 'tolerance'
08/28/00: A campaign divided against itself
08/23/00: Al Gore's trickle-down populism
08/21/00: Prosperity without a clue
08/16/00: AlGore can run but he can't hide
08/14/00: When hate speech is OK
08/09/00: Bush: The pundits' enigma
08/07/00: GOP convention: Live or Memorex?
08/02/00: The first attack dog
07/31/00: The Cheney taint?
07/26/00: The anti-gun bogeyman
07/24/00: The raging culture war
07/19/00: Is Hillary 'Good for the Jews'?
07/17/00: How dare you, George?
07/12/00: Jacoby's raw deal
07/10/00: The perplexities of liberalism
07/05/00: Big Al and big oil
07/03/00: Partial-birth and total death
06/28/00: Some questions for you, Mr. Gore
06/26/00: Supreme Court assaults religious freedom
06/21/00: Waco: We are the jury
06/19/00: "Outrage" just doesn't quite cut it anymore!
06/14/00: Al Gore: Government's best friend
06/12/00: Say goodbye to medical privacy
06/07/00: Elian: Whose hands were tied?
06/05/00: Who, which, what is the real Al Gore?
06/01/00: Legacy-building idea for Clinton
05/30/00: Clinton: Above the law or not?
05/24/00: Not so fast, Hillary
05/22/00: Gore's risky, fear-mongering schemes
05/17/00: Can Bush risk pro-choice running mate?
05/15/00: Right to privacy, Clinton-style
05/10/00: Patrick Kennedy and his suit-happy fiddlers
05/08/00: Don't shoot Eddie Eagle
05/03/00: Congress caves to Clinton, again?
05/01/00: The resurrection of outrage
04/28/00: A picture of Bill Clinton's America
04/19/00: President Clinton: Teaching children responsibility
04/17/00: Elian, Marx and parental rights
04/12/00: Elian, freedom deserve a hearing
04/10/00:The fraying of America
04/05/00: Noonan: End Clintonism now
04/03/00: Bush: On going for the gold
03/29/00: Phantasma-Gore-ia
03/27/00: Treaties, triggers, tobacco and tyrants
03/22/00: Media to Bush: Go left, young man
03/20/00: Stop the insanity
03/15/00: OK Al Gore: Let's go negative
03/13/00: Deifying of the center
03/08/00: The media, the establishment and the people
03/01/00: McCain's coalition-busting daggers in GOP's heart
02/28/00: Bush's silver lining in McMichigan
02/24/00: A conservative firewall, after all
02/22/00: Bush or four more of Clinton-Gore?
02/16/00: Substance trumps process
02/14/00: The campaign finance reform mirage
02/09/00: President McCain: End of the GOP as we know it?
02/07/00: From New Hampshire to South Carolina
02/02/00: SDI must fly
01/31/00: Veep gores Bradley
01/26/00: The issues gap
01/24/00: GOP: Exit, stage left
01/20/00: Nationalizing congressional elections
01/18/00: Do voters really prefer straight talk?
01/12/00: Media's McCain efforts may backfire
01/10/00: Conservative racism myth
01/05/00: Just one more year of Clintonian politics
01/03/00: McMedia?
12/27/99: Al Gore: Bullish on government
12/22/99: Bradley's full-court press
12/20/99: Bush: Rendering unto Caesar
12/15/99: Beltway media bias
12/13/99: White House ambulance chasing
12/08/99: Clinton's labor pains
12/06/99:The lust for power
12/01/99: In defense of liberty
11/29/99: Are Republicans obsolete?
11/24/99: Say you're sorry, Mr. President
11/22/99: Architects of victory
11/17/99: Trump's tax on freedom
11/15/99: GOP caves again
11/10/99: Triangulation and 'The Third Way'
11/08/99: Sticks and stones
11/03/99: Keyes vs. media lapdogs
11/01/99: Signs of the times
10/27/99: The false charge of isolationism
10/25/99: A matter of freedom
10/20/99: Clinton's mini-meltdown
10/18/99: Senate GOP shows statesmanship
10/13/99: Senate must reject nuclear treaty
10/11/99: Bush bites feeding hand
10/06/99: Jesse accidentally opens door for Pat
10/04/99: Clinton and his media enablers
09/29/99: Reagan: Big-tent conservatism
09/27/99: The Clinton/Gore taint?
09/22/99: Have gun (tragedy), will travel
09/20/99: Hillary's blunders and bloopers
09/15/99: GOP must remain conservative
09/13/99:Time for Bush to take charge, please
09/10/99: Bush's education plan: Dubya confounds again
09/07/99: Pat, savior or spoiler?
09/02/99: Character doesn't matter?
08/30/99: Should we judge?
08/25/99: Dubyah's drug question: Not a hill to die on
08/23/99: Should Dubyah start buying soap ... for all that mud?
08/16/99: 'W' stands for 'winner'
08/11/99: The truth about tax cuts
08/09/99: Hillary: Threading the needle
08/04/99: What would you do?
08/02/99: No appeasement for China
07/30/99: Hate Crimes Bill: Cynical Symbolism
07/26/99: Itís the 'moderates', stupid
07/21/99: JFK Jr. and Diana: the pain of privilege
07/19/99: Smith, Bush and the GOP
07/14/99: GOP must be a party of ideas
07/12/99: Gore's gender gap
07/08/99: Clintonís faustian bargain: our justice
07/06/99: The key to Bush's $36 million
06/30/99: Gore: a soda in every fountain
06/28/99: 'Sacred wall' or religious barrier?
06/23/99: GOP must lead in foreign policy
06/21/99: Crumbs of compassion
06/16/99: Compassionate conservatism: face-lift or body transplant?
06/10/99: Victory in Kosovo? Now What?

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