Interactive Timeline: Bush's Environmental Legacy

For Immediate Release

Interactive Timeline: Bush's Environmental Legacy

WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush leaves behind a notorious record: two wars, the near collapse of our financial system, rising unemployment, and turning a budget surplus into the largest deficit in history. But perhaps his longest-lasting legacy will be his fervent opposition to binding reductions of global warming pollution and his implementation of big oil, coal, and utility companies’ agendas to debilitate pollution safeguards.

[Timeline (c) SIMILE - http://simile.mit.edu/timeline/]
Dec
2008
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
2009
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Bush blocks initiative for clean cars in California
EPA allows new coal power plants to freely emit greenhouse gases
Railroad Shipments of dangerous chemicals exempt from local safeguards
EPA exempts factory farms from reporting toxic fumes
Mountaintop mining debris can be dumped in rivers and streams
Bush Administration official blames Russia for inaction on global warming, ignoring U.S. roadblocks
Administration finally ends efforts to scuttle rules that reduce emissions from rehabilitated power plants
Effort to hurt park air quality ended
Grand Canyon opened to uranium mining
U.S. global warming emissions increased in 2007
EPA eases lead safeguards
Rule that increases threats to endangered species finalized
Protected lands in Utah opened to drilling
Gray wolves no longer protected
Uranium mining in Grand Canyon proposed
Bush allows more hazardous perchlorate in drinking water
Interior Department officials take gift, drugs from oil companies
DOE nominee opposes solutions to global warming
Bush attempts to eliminate scientific reviews for endangered species
Congressional accountability committee condemns Bush for abuse of power
EPA refuses to classify carbon dioxide as a dangerous pollutant
Bush lifts ban on offshore drilling in Outer Continental Shelf
Bush blocks binding global warming reductions at his G8 Summit
EPA calls global warming a major health threat
EPA refuses to release report on global warming
Bush blocks Congressional subpoena for EPA documents on CA waiver
Administration's environmental rules repeatedly blocked in court
Bush to allow more air pollution in national parks
Bush grants polar bears protection in name only
Top EPA official forced out due to Dow clean up orders
Bush censors government environmental scientists again
Bush says no greenhouse gas cuts until 2025
Gas prices reach record highs, may exceed $4 per gallon
EPA delays action on greenhouse gases
Bush administration appeals mercury ruling
EPA ignores scientific advice, sets smog standards too high
Oil prices reach record highs
President unaware of energy prices
Bush opposes incentives for renewable energy
Court rebukes Bush EPA's low mercury standard
Bush opposes incentives for renewables
Bush cancels FutureGen CCS project
State of the Union 2008
Oil price, gas price, and oil company profits increase
Fuel economy increases to 35 mpg
Bush blocks initiative for clean cars in California
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
inauguration
end of presidency
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On President Bush’s first day in office, January 20, 2001, he blocked standards to dramatically reduce arsenic allowed in drinking water. Unfortunately, he was just getting started. On March 13, 2001, he publicly broke his campaign promise to reduce greenhouse gas pollution from coal-fired power plants. On May 17, Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney released their energy plan that primarily focused on drilling for oil, burning coal, and building nuclear power plants, all while paying lip service to clean energy.

The federal courts and Congress thwarted many of these and the dozens of other Bush environmental assaults, while others are now in place. It may take years to undo the damage wrought by the oil men running the government. Given their hostility to clean energy, clear skies, and greenhouse gas reductions, it’s no surprise that global warming and air pollution worsened under Bush’s watch. Global warming pollution increased by 6.6 percent, and oil dependence grew by 10 percent.

President-elect Barack Obama and the 111th Congress have the responsibility to reverse course. Early indications suggest that they plan to do that, first by including investments in clean energy in the economic stimulus and recovery package.

For more on CAP's energy and environmental policies for the new administration, please see:

* Top 10 Energy and Environment Priorities for the Obama Administration and 111th Congress by Daniel J. Weiss and Alexandra Kougentakis

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