NRDC Documents Unprecedented Assault on the Environment During President Bush's First 100 Days

Group Calls on President to Heed Public Support for Environmental Protection

WASHINGTON (April 30, 2001) - NRDC (the Natural Resources Defense Council) today released a report documenting the Bush administration's unprecedented attack on environmental safeguards and public health during its first 100 days.

"This has been the worst three months for environmental protection in the last 30 years," said Gregory Wetstone, NRDC's director of advocacy. "At this rate¸ by the end of President Bush's four-year term there will be little remaining of the popular environmental programs that protect our air, water, land and wildlife."

As a candidate for president, George W. Bush made few pronouncements on the environment, but he did pledge to mandate controls on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, fund tropical forest conservation, and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Since taking office, however, he has reneged on those promises and continues to press for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Among the more reprehensible actions during the administration's first 100 days are:

  • Walking away from the international treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions;

  • Withdrawing a new standard for arsenic in drinking water;

  • Weakening a new efficiency standard for air conditioners;

  • Jeopardizing the landmark Clinton administration rule protecting 58 million acres of wild national forest lands from logging; road-building; and coal, oil and gas leasing;

  • Proposing an Environmental Protection Agency budget that would cut the number of staff working on enforcement by nearly half; and

  • Proposing a Department of Energy budget that would slash funding for developing new appliance efficiency standards and new efficiency technologies for buildings, industries, and vehicles by about 50 percent.

"Instead of serving the public and protecting our environment, this administration is taking its cues directly from the oil industry, the mining industry, and other corporate polluters that put George W. Bush in office," said Alyssondra Campaigne, NRDC's legislative director.