|For the love
by Jim Hightower
When George W announced that he was naming Gov. Dirk Kempthorne of Idaho to be his new secretary of the interior, he assured us that, "Dirk has a long and abiding love for nature."
Wow. If Dirk is Bush's idea of someone who loves nature, what would be his idea of someone who hates nature? Apparently, Bush made his judgment based on the fact that he and Kempthorne bonded when they went mountain biking in Idaho last summer. If George had actually looked at Dirk's record... well, it's hard to find much love there.
Take Kempthorne's one term in the U.S. Senate: His record on the 70 environmental votes he cast earned him a near-zero ranking from the League of Conservation Voters. On the other hand, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce gave him a near-perfect score for voting with big corporate interests. He favored weakening the safe drinking water act, for example, and opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil giants.
Dirk took this same industry bias into the Idaho governorship,
where he cut the state's environmental budget three times. While the
national image of Idaho is one of pristine mountain air and clear running
rivers, Kempthorne's seven years at the helm of state has tarnished
that image. Idaho's air has gotten dirtier, more rivers have been contaminated
and fewer polluters have been inspected.
Look out nature! Thanks to George W and the polluter lobby, Dirk will now be spreading his "love" nationally. To learn more and to side with nature, call the Sierra Club at 202-547-1141 or go to www.sierraclub.org.
Jim Hightower is the best-selling author of Let’s Stop Beating Around the Bush, on sale from Viking Press. For more information, visit www.jimhightower.com
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