Less Need For Earth Day And More Need For "People Day"

Obama Administration Puts Desires of Environmental Lobbyists Before Everyday People


Dallas - With the recent actions taken by the Obama administration, it has been Earth Year, so there is not much of a need for Earth Day, according to H. Sterling Burnett, Senior Fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis.

"How about a 'People Day?'" said Burnett. "It's time for the Obama administration, whose party has the reigns of both Houses of Congress, to put people first. In conflict after conflict, the President has put the desires of environmental lobbyists above the needs of average Americans."

As the recent coal mining tragedy in West Virginia reinforced, underground coal mining is still a dangerous business, even with substantial safety improvements over the past decades, Burnett continues. The decline in miner deaths in recent years is due, in large part, to the rise of mountain top mining. Yet, the administration's EPA wants to end the practice.

"By forcing miners to go underground, the administration ignores the fact that every mountain top mine must, by law, be reclaimed and made beautiful again," Burnett said.

In addition, while the president announced that he would allow modestly expanded off shore oil exploration and production in limited areas, if it can be done in an environmentally sensitive manner, he has left the vast majority of the country's coast lines off limits to oil and gas production.

"We are the only country in the world that has offshore reserves that is limiting ourselves in this way," Burnett said. "This policy leaves tens of billions of oil off limits to production. This hurts consumers by making them pay higher prices for oil and gas, than they otherwise would if the President would allow production in all federal waters to go forward."

Also, forest fires are at an all time high in terms of acreage burned, environmental destruction, costs - both from fighting fires and due to loss of property, and all too often, lives and livelihoods lost. Yet the president seems intent on declaring even more land as wilderness or roadless, making them off limits to timber production and effective fire fighting, Burnett points out.

"The best jobs program the president could offer timber dependent communities is to open up the forests to new production, not lock them up further," Burnett said. "This would be good for jobs, good for forest health, good for forest dependent wildlife, and good for global warming, since it would reduce the carbon going up in smoke from wildfires."

Finally, the president should halt EPA efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. "No EPA regulations, or any bill being proposed would actually reduce the amount of future warming, even if humans are causing it," Burnett explained. "But it would retard the economic recovery that the president claims to want."