FOR THE LOVE OF NATURE

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."

"Two wrongs don't make a right, but three left turns do." --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.”

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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.

While other states are making progress against toxic emissions, for example, Idaho is going in the other direction. This small mountain state now emits more toxics than California, which has nearly 30 times the population! Last year, 63 percent of the “significant violators” of pollution laws were not even inspected, much less prosecuted.

This is Jim Hightower saying… 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.

Sources:
“Idaho Governor Selected to Lead Interior Dept.” New York Times, March 17, 2006
“Kemphorne Picked for Interior,” Washington Post, March 17, 2006
“Bush’s Choice for EPA Job Oversaw Worsening Pollution in Idaho,” Knight Ridder, June 23, 2003.
“Natural resources also campaign resources,” USA Today, July 24, 2005.

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