Boyden Gray, Robert Grady and Michael Deland — haven’t you done enough damage to America?
PoliticoPro is out with a story headlined, “Bush 41 advisers saw benefits in environmental regulations.”
The point of the piece is to embarrass Congressional Republicans into backing off their effort to roll back EPA over-regulation.
The article begins:
The summer of 1988 was the hottest on record, and then-Vice President George H.W. Bush was trying to win an election — so he became an environmentalist.
Garnering the votes of suburban moderates in California, New Jersey, Ohio, Missouri and Michigan was the key to getting the needed 270 electoral votes, the campaign decided. So, Bush jumped on environmental issues, giving birth to the plan for the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, presidential advisers said Tuesday at a climate change conference in Washington.
What happened in 1990 is a far cry from today’s congressional attitude toward environmental regulations, the GOP advisers said, noting bipartisan cooperation and trust in the scientists at the EPA, and a belief in the economic and health benefits of air toxics regulations.
But the partisan turn things have taken since then have kept Congress from making simple changes to adjust to errors in the statute that have caused judicial problems, Bush adviser C.Boyden Gray said.
Bush’s campaign tactic worked: Exit polling had Michael Dukakis and Bush even on the environment; the issue was nullified. It was the last time that happened, and the last time a Republican took California and New Jersey, former Office of Management and Budget director Robert Grady said.
“There was trust … on the science,” Grady said, describing 15 senators in a room, discussing the science behind air toxics with dose-response experts from the EPA on the phone, questioning how to calculate emissions, the importance of actual exposures versus theoretical. “It gave me faith in the workings of our democracy,” Grady said.
“The president linked environmental protection and economic development,” said Michael Deland, former chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality.
Leadership in the Senate was key in moving negotiations forward on the 1990 amendments, said then-Assistant to the President for Economic and Domestic Policy Roger Porter. Senate leader George Mitchell (D-Maine) had a “different attitude towards environmental protection than his predecessor [Sen.] Robert Byrd” (D-W.Va.), Porter said.
After the president produced a bill — and the environment committee doubled its cost — Senate leaders from both parties each agreed to produce enough votes to pass the eventual legislation — leading it to passage by an 89-11 vote that was no more than 10 percent higher in cost than the original proposal and held the line on emissions reductions.
Except that the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 have been a disaster.
They removed science from the Clean Air Act, replacing it with technology mandates. They provided no meaningful check on EPA’s overreaching.
They have been expensive and have not provided benefits commensurate with their costs. We are now living with the consequences.
Now Gray, Grady and Deland have the naivete/temerity/stupidity (take your pick) to participate in a walk down memory lane to help the enviros propagandize.