Environmental policies need a closer look

It is not very often that the opportunity to applaud President Bush’s policies arises. Amazingly enough, on March 30, the United States was given that opportunity after Bush set new standards for gas emissions from light trucks. The new policies require vehicle manufacturers to use fuel-saving technology in trucks, which is meant to decrease the amount of fuel use and gas emission in our country. Everything seems happy and moral until one puts the policies in perspective and takes a closer look at what the new standards actually mean. While the policies limit fuel use in light trucks, in no way do they affect SUVs or other gas guzzling vehicles that are in wide spread use in this country. Let’s put the issue of environmental consciousness aside for a moment—we depend heavily on foreign oil, oil that will soon be gone. The Bush administration is fully aware that this planet’s oil supply is anything but everlasting and dependable, that new energy sources are in dire necessity. But more importantly, America’s heavy oil use is destructive to the environment that we humans directly depend upon and that has existed for billions of years. Every day, scientists and environmental experts are hard at work researching the state of our planet and the affect of technology on the environment. Thanks to our laziness and carelessness, and therefore our millions of cars and polluting factories, our planet is heating up more and more, and in turn, melting polar ice caps, destroying the habitats of entire species, and affecting ecosystems all over the world. However, the worst part of the new fuel standards is in a tiny little line stationed somewhere in the bill: while the new policies apply nationally, states are now banned from passing their own laws regarding fuel economy that do not fully cooperate with the Bush plan. At least ten states that have adopted stricter fuel laws will now have to comply with national standards. We all know that we depend too much on oil; we all know that we’re ruining our planet with global warming, pollution, and the thinning of rainforests and other natural ecosystems. President Bush knows it too. But instead of facing these problems head-on, he has decided to step around the issue, resulting in new policies that bring with them destruction. Then again, ignoring environmental problems leaves the leader of the most influential country in the world more time to work for constitutional bans of people’s basic rights and engage in unjust wars. Maybe we shouldn’t have expected anything more.