The toxicity of Dick Cheney

Two pollution posts in a row. First is the latest of the Washington Post’s pieces on the US Vice-President, Dick Cheney (whom we know I don’t like. At all. I also swear they make that official photo look like they just stole a baby).

From the article,

Law and science seemed to be on the side of the fish. Then the vice president stepped in.

First Cheney looked for a way around the law, aides said. Next he set in motion a process to challenge the science protecting the fish, according to a former Oregon congressman who lobbied for the farmers.

Because of Cheney’s intervention, the government reversed itself and let the water flow in time to save the 2002 growing season, declaring that there was no threat to the fish. What followed was the largest fish kill the West had ever seen, with tens of thousands of salmon rotting on the banks of the Klamath River.

It was Cheney’s insistence on easing air pollution controls, not the personal reasons she cited at the time, that led Christine Todd Whitman to resign as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, she said in an interview that provides the most detailed account so far of her departure.

In the famous words of Simon Norfolk, for most of I have no words. For many of these stories there is clearly malignent, idiotic industry corruption in Cheney’s methods. For others there are the needs of pastoralists. In which case the science and the economics should be used to decide the issue – not political shenanigans so anti-democratic and non-transparent that environmental agencies shed experience and battles with the judicial branch are set up for years to come.


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