Sunday, March 11, 2007

White House and EPA solve pesky hazmat problem

Composite image; photo credits to:
Pablo Gonzalez Varga and Doug Mills/The New York Times

From the March 2007 issue of The Scientist:
“In February of 2006, the White House proposed cutting $2 million of the $2.5 million budget for EPA libraries. It is a huge cut to the libraries, but a blip against the $8 billion EPA budget.”
That is a budget cut of fully 80 percent, which can only be intended to destroy EPA’s ability to gather and store the information it needs to fulfill its legislated mandate. The destruction of library holdings has already commenced, which means that first we taxpayers paid for the collection of all this data, and now we’re paying for it to be destroyed.

Although it is always risky to speculate on the motivations of others, this seems to be a clear case of destroying inconvenient evidence in order to prevent that evidence from becoming troublesome, and it is also a way to gut the agency from within, surreptitiously. Because without its institutional memory, and without the evidence it needs in order to act, the EPA becomes nothing more than a stooge as it pretends to carry out its mission. This will prove to be mighty convenient to the Bush administration.

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