Currently viewing the tag: "Bush Administration"

Image: John Darkow, The Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri

With gas tax revenue falling fast the federal government fears that it may not be able to meet its commitment to states for road projects currently under way. So what does Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters suggest? Simply “borrow” money from the mass transit fund. According to the New York Times article, such a measure would “balance the accounts as highway travel declines and mass transit increases.”

However, such a transfer of money would require Congress’ approval.

American Public Transportation Association president, William W. Millar added this:

The administration proposal is shortsighted and would mean that the mass transit account would be reduced to the point where there would not be enough money to fund the federal transit program in 2010, even at the current level.

If this doesn’t illustrate how broken our federal transportation funding system is, I don’t know what does. Despite runaway gas prices, climate change, and the prospect of funding petro-dictators, the Bush administration is still desperate to fund highways at a significantly greater clip than transit. The sad thing is that the Bush admin wants to borrow from what is already a scant fund. The transit fund is but a tiny fraction of the highway fund.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s been following U.S. politics on climate change, but a new report has been released by the House Oversight Committee revealing the White House’s effort to stifle climate change science.

According to the report, the Bush Administration censored 150 federal climate scientists from eight federal agencies and “exerted unusual control over the public statements of federal scientists on climate change issues.”

“The Bush Administration has engaged in a systematic effort to manipulate climate change science and mislead policymakers and the public about the dangers of global warming.”

Dr. James Hansen, head of NASA’s top institute studying climate and widely regarded top climate scientist on Earth, has said it. The world’s most outspoken journalist reporting on climate change, George Monbiot, describes it in his book. Now the House Oversight Committee shows how low the Bush Administration is willing to stoop to avoid taking action on climate change. It’s absolutely reprehensible, not to mention a little fascist for the executive branch of any democracy to manipulate science and censor what it doesn’t agree with.

Meanwhile, in Bail, talks continue in an effort to develop a post-Kyoto pact to take aim at climate change beyond 2012. Embarrassingly, it is again the U.S. that is the outcast here, refusing to commit to any kind of binding regulation to cut carbon emissions. I guess the Bush Administration must have chosen to ignore the recent IPCC report that warns of accelerating climate change and demands immediate international action. UN Chair Ban-Ki moon, who recently called climate change “the defining challenge of our age”, has called on the U.S. and China to take a “more constructive role” in the fight against climate change, yet the Bush Administration remains completely out-of-touch with reality.

Photo: Dan Wasserman, Boston Globe

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