Rebecca Hagelin
A lot of folks I know who have teen-age kids actually hire a housekeeper or cleaning company to do the dirty work around their homes. Not me. Nope – it seems immoral to pay another adult to clean up after healthy children. Although life would be a lot easier at the moment if we could come home to a magically clean house, in the end, I know I'd be teaching my kids to be irresponsible and lazy. Unfortunately, it seems too many folks have gotten used to someone else cleaning up after them.

In our home, the message is loud and clear: Clean up after yourself. Somehow, government hasn't gotten the message. When it comes to the environment, Big Brother wants to clean up – or attempt to – for everybody.

It hasn't been for lack of effort on the part of President Bush, whom the green left blasts regularly. He's "the worst environmental president ever," according to Greenpeace. Adds Buck Parker, executive director of Earthjustice, a nonprofit environment law firm: "What [the Bush administration] is doing makes the Reagan administration look innocent." And Mother Jones magazine says, "the Bush administration has been gutting key sections of the Clean Water and Clean Air acts ..." and has "crippled the Superfund program," which tends to toxic industrial waste.

But could there be another explanation? Could it be that President Bush simply has recognized some immutable truths about how to care for environment and is doing his level best to change the culture accordingly? Could it be he truly believes in stewardship of the environment, in folks cleaning up their own messes? Could it be he's discovered the best ideas don't always come from Washington? That the people closest to the problems often – well, usually – know best how to solve them?

Given his second opportunity in two years to appoint an administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, President Bush again has turned to one of the nation's governors – this time, Utah's Michael Leavitt. It seems clear that, in doing so, President Bush is trying to demonstrate his commitment to the principle of federalism – that we should devolve all power we possibly can to the states.

Rebecca Hagelin

Rebecca Hagelin is a public speaker on the family and culture and the author of the new best seller, 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family.
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