Seattle and Puget Sound in Republican Crosshairs
Bush and Congress are launching yet another attack on the environment. Again they’re turning the Katrina devastation into a political football. Bush is getting better and better at his trademarked reasoning of “I dropped the ball again. And because of my big screwup, we need to do exactly what I’ve wanted to do all along.”
State and local environmental laws are annoying speed bumps on the Bush steamroller’s path to more drilling, more tankers and more oil spills. Once again the party of “States’ Rights” (remember that quaint concept?) is launching a federal assault on Puget Sound. This is also an assault on the will of most Washington residents, regardless of their political views.
California residents — regardless of their political differences — are almost unanimously opposed to oil drilling off the California coast. Federal lawmakers who try to bulldoze Washington’s environmental laws will discover the same unified opposition here. They’re about to stick their hands into a hornets’ nest.
Since 1977, Puget Sound has been protected against supertankers weighing more than 125,000 tons. This law was passed by both Democrats and Republicans. Most of Washington’s population lives near Puget Sound. It’s not only an environmental treasure; it’s vital to Washington’s economy.
The oil industry — through their favorite call-girl, Joe Barton, R-Texas — is pushing a federal bill which will roll back this 28-year-old state law. Undoubtedly Barton will do whatever his favorite john tells him. He’s had a long sensuous career of being fisted by the oil industry.
If this oil industry giveaway gets passed by the House, it will have a much tougher time in the Senate. Washington’s two senators — expressing the will of most Washington residents — will see to it.