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Performance-enhancing Drugs Trump Environment in State of the Union

Government Professor Says Bush Can Point Out Few Accomplishments on Protecting Environment

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"On the environment, the President's views in the State of the Union Address were made plain by the conspicuous absence of this issue from his speech, aside from a brief and vague discussion of energy policy," said Peter Cannavo a visiting professor of government at Hamilton College.  "Perhaps he considers the use of performance-enhancing drugs by professional athletes, to which he devoted a good chunk of valuable time, to be a more important issue than the state of the planet we inhabit. 

Cannavo said the President avoided environmental issues "because they don't play well for him.  His administration has been guided by an anti-regulatory policy and a bias toward natural resource development, almost as an end in itself."  "He has expanded logging in national forests, opposed measures to prevent global warming, sought to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and tried to relax restrictions on air pollution. 

Bush can point to few accomplishments on protecting our environment Cannavo said.  "His approach in many ways reflects the long-term transformation of the environment from an issue involving bipartisan support in the early 1970s to yet another partisan fault line dividing our increasingly polarized society.

"If the state of our Union is to be truly strong, both the White House and Congress and both political parties need to adopt a longer-term perspective that considers basic environmental quality," Cannavo said.

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