more than 2,000 maids mainly from Sri Lanka, the Philippines, India, and Bangladesh have sought refuge in embassies from the terror.” The Environment America’s mainstream press has provided clearheaded accounts of the environment and energy policies of the Bush administration. It has reported that in virtually every arena where the exploitation of a resource has been pitted against its preservation, the President with supposed “zero tolerance” for polluters has come down on the side of exploitation. Bush’s energy policy, which promotes continued reliance on oil, serves as a good example of his environmental thinking these past four years. To avoid undue dependence on foreign oil, Bush last year proposed opening environmentally sensitive areas to drilling including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Similarly, Bush has passed to Vice President Quayle the role Bush himself fulfilled in Reagan’s White House. There, Bush’s Task Force on Regulatory Relief fought a range of regulations, many of which concerned the environment. These and other activities have been widely reported. What has not gotten appropriate attention is the way in which Bush’s anti-environmental actions have had the effect of stymying the various , resource exploiters he’s claimed to want to help. Just this month Willamette Week offered an interesting look at the untoward consequences of the Bush administration’s battle over the spotted owl in the Pacific Northwest. No issue more clearly outlines the significance of the Endangered Species Act Bush says he would like to rewrite. Nor does any environmental issue have greater resonance in the most environment-conscious region of the country. Willamette Week’s account offers a compelling example of how the Bush administration’s antienvironmental extremism has been detrimental to the very timber workers whose livelihoods Bush has vowed to protect. Writing for the Portland news weekly, Jill Smith concluded that, “Bush has hurt the timber industry…. During the past five years, four federal judges have consistently ruled that fed. eral agencies under Republican control violated the nation’s environmental laws, prompting sweeping injunctions on timber sales in the Northwest.” Initially, by “sanitizing” a ‘federal report ANDERSON & COMPANY COFFEE TEA SPICES TWO JEFFERSON SQUARE AUSTIN, TEXAS 78731 512 453-1533 Send me your list. Name Street City Zip 18 OCTOBER 30, 1992 on the spotted owl, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department illegally delayed the application of the Endangered Species Act to the spotted owl. This resulted in nearly 120,000 additional acres of owl habitat being sold for timber production before the spotted owl was designated an endangered species. According to Willamette Week, “A recovery plan could have been adopted by 1989, and timber communities could have been well on their way to an easier economic transition… But with less spotted-owl habitat available, recovery measures will be more severe over the long term.” Then, in 1990, “at the same time the [Bush] administration was releasing dire economic predictions of how a spotted owl recovery plan would cost timber workers their jobs, it hid a companion report on how to mitigate economic damage from logging cutbacks.” Willamette Week’s account continues: “In May 1990, Agriculture Secretary Clayton Yeutter and Interior Secretary Manuel Lujan ordered the Forest Service to stop its work on a recovery plan for the spotted owl. The plan had been ordered by Congress.” As a result, federal Judge William Dwyer halted timber sales in 17 national forests, eliminating still more timber jobs. Similarly, the federal Bureau of Land Management refused to follow an owl recovery plan proposed by a committee of scientists. The result was that another federal Judge, Helen Frye, halted timber sales on 2.5 million acres of BLM land in the Pacific Northwest. Finally, Willamette Week notes, “In addition to causing injunctions of timber sales and delays in recovery plans, the Republican administration has refused to take other measures, such a restricting log exports, which could help timber communities … Bush and his fellow Republicans have simplified the timber crisis to a matter of jobs vs. owls, diverting attention from the much-needed debates over jobs vs. exports, jobs vs. automation and jobs vs. trickle-down economics.” Similar conflicts have emerged over wetlands in the East and South and over mining policies in the Midwest. Throughout, President Bush has managed to cast himself as siding with the beleaguered logger, fisher or farmer, rather than as the direct source of tens of thousands of pink slips in the nation’s natural resource industries. The Larger Agenda The conventional news media have made much recently of NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement. This arcane document has even become a campaign issue, as President Bush has spoken in the debates and on the campaign trail of his clear leadership on this area and of his ability “to get the job done for the American people.” What the conventional press has failed to recognize is that far more significant trade action is occurring elsewhere, in the six-year-old Uruguay Round of talks on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, commonly referred to as GATT. GATT, writes Walter Mead in the September Harper’s, is “the forty-four-year-old treaty that …\(11111,:t7 lays down the code of conduct for international trade among most of the world’s nations.” Those Americans who read the daily newspaper or watch the evening news on television most likely have been left with the impression that Bush’s administration has yet to arrive at an economic agenda. Mead puts the lie to any such assumption. “The Uruguay Round,” he says in his Harper’s essay, “is where George Bush has most arduously pressed his agenda for a second term as President.” Just what is that agenda? According to Harper’s, Bush is pushing for trade agreements that would create a new world government “a global corporate utopia in which local citizens are toothless, workers’ unions are tame or broken, environmentalists and consumer advocates outflanked.” In Mead’s view, the key to the current GATT proposal is to be found in proposed treaty language concerning so-called “technical barriers” to trade. He cites two provisions. The first is from section G.3: “[T]echnical regulations shall not be more trade-restrictive than necessary to fulfill a legitimate objective, taking account of the risks non-fulfillment would create.” Then there’s this from section G.5: “Parties are fully responsible under this Agreement for the observance of all provisions of Article 2. Parties shall formulate and implement positive measures and mechanisms in support of the observance of the provisions of Article 2 by other than central government bodies.” As Mead reads this obscure wording, laws and regulations of the U.S. that conflict with the rules and regulations of other countries will have to be “harmonized,” with the result that “one can expect in the coming years that there will be GATT challenges to the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Marine Mammal Protection Act, potentially resulting in the gutting of America’s tough \(by interna”George Bush’s [trade] program,” the Harper’s essay concludes, “serves nobody’s interestsnot even, in the long run, the interests of the multinational corporations that blindly back it.” How can all of this have gone unreported by America’s daily newspapers and TV networks? The omissions of the mainstream press’ coverage of George Bush’s White House years are so great as to suggest nothing less than a media conspiracy of silence. Nothing could be further from the truth. What’s really at work here and in most major areas of newsgathering is institutional inertia. The mass media’s laziness, inattention, lack of journalistic enterprise, pretenses of fairness and outright cowardice make it incapable of serving its audience’s needs. So don’t be surprised next month when the mainstream media take the credit for Bush’s defeat. The operative ingredient in the post-election rehashes won’t be elitist liberal bias. Rather, the pundits who speak for the mainstream media will be applauding themselves for the simple reason that it’s the easiest and most self-serving thing they can do. 0400.1!…'”^r140…”!0″.’
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