Is the government doing enough for the environment?

Question: Should the government be doing more for the environment?

George Mitchell: Well, I think it’s a fair, for me, statement to make-- obviously, he wouldn’t think it fair-- but I think the Bush Administration has been disastrous with respect to the environment. One of the really ironic things is that the Clean Air bill, which I mentioned earlier, would not have become law but for the support of the first President Bush. We tried throughout the Reagan presidency to move a Clean Air bill, but President Reagan was adamantly opposed and we couldn’t move it at all. But when the first George Bush took office, he said, publicly, he was for Clean Air legislation, so instantly the debate changed from, “Will there be a bill?” to “What will be in the bill?” We had a very lengthy process. I, and other senators, had a long negotiation with representatives of the President. We had a lot of disagreement on what ought to be in the bill. But there wouldn’t have been a bill without his support and he came up with some really good ideas: the CAP and training system was a proposal by the Bush Administration, not by members of Congress, not by Democrats. In fact, I argued to my Democratic colleagues in the Senate who were opposed to the proposal that we’re in a negotiation and we can’t have everything our own way, and that’s the nature of a negotiation. Here’s an idea, it may work, it may not, but the President feels strongly about it we ought to try it. If it doesn’t work, we’ll come back and see what we can do, and it’s actually worked quite well. So, one of the ironies of the current administration is that they really haven’t enforced the law as it was intended to be enforced, and they haven’t dealt with many of the other issues, of course- climate change and global warming being the most significant of them. So, it’s a real question as to how high a value Americans place on protection of the environment. I think there’s a general sense that they favor it, but it tends not to be an issue that is pivotal in how many people vote. There are other issues: the economy, the war in Iraq, a lot of other things, so it isn’t the highest-level issue, but I think it ought to be, particularly with respect to climate change.

Is the government doing enough for the environment?

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Originally, Poe envisioned a parrot, not a raven

Quoth the parrot — "Nevermore."

The Green Parrot by Vincent van Gogh, 1886
Culture & Religion
  • Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1949) is considered one of America's great writers.
  • Poe penned his most famous poem, The Raven, in his 30s.
  • Originally, the poem's feathered subject was a bit flamboyant.
Keep reading Show less

Your body’s full of stuff you no longer need. Here's a list.

Evolution doesn't clean up after itself very well.

Image source: Ernst Haeckel
Surprising Science
  • An evolutionary biologist got people swapping ideas about our lingering vestigia.
  • Basically, this is the stuff that served some evolutionary purpose at some point, but now is kind of, well, extra.
  • Here are the six traits that inaugurated the fun.
Keep reading Show less
Videos
  • Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
  • Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
  • But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
Keep reading Show less