On the eve of "Earth Day," the Bush administration stands accused of trashing the nation's environment. The New York Times similarly indicted the administration in its recent Sunday magazine cover story: "Changing the Rules -- How the Bush Administration Quietly -- and Radically -- Transformed the Nation's Clean-Air Policy."
I asked Dr. S. Fred Singer, an atmospheric physicist, to take a look at the article. He has served as the first director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service, chief scientist of the U.S. Department of Transportation; deputy assistant administrator for policy in the Environmental Protection Agency; and deputy assistant secretary of the Department of the Interior. His many books include "Global Climate Change," "The Greenhouse Debate Continued," and "Hot Talk, Cold Science: Global Warming's Unfinished Debate."
Larry Elder: John Kerry said that Bush has the worst environmental record in recent history, or in modern history. What's your reaction to that?
S. Fred Singer: That's just political hogwash. We have data that the environment is getting better. I mean, I don't really think it's because of Bush, but the Environmental Protection Agency has been continually enforcing standards, both on air and water pollution, and as a result, air and water are getting cleaner every year.
Elder: Has Bush quietly and radically transformed the nation's clean-air policy? And, if so, is that a bad thing?
Singer: I don't think there has been any such transformation. In fact, since Bush came to the White House, he's announced a policy to control mercury emissions from power plants, which is something that had not been done previously, and I think he is going to enforce that. So I don't see why the New York Times complains, but I suppose this is an election year and complaints of this sort are in order.