President Bush is using his last 60 days in office to weaken or reverse many regulations including protecting wilderness from logging or mining operations and compelling factory farms to clean up hazardous waste. For example, Bush has opened up some 8,000 square kilometers of land in the western Rocky Mountain states for the development of oil shale, one of the dirtiest fuels on the planet.
"There are probably going to be scores of rules that are issued between now and January 20," said John Walke, a senior attorney at the US National Resources Defence Council. "And there are at least a dozen very controversial rules that will weaken public health and environment protection that have no business being adopted and would not be acceptable to the incoming Obama administration, based on stances he has taken as a senator and during the campaign."
These new regulations are viewed as part of a wider campaign by the Bush administration to mould environmental policy. Certain actions have incited widespread protests such as the Bureau of Land Management’s plans to auction off 200 square kilometers of oil and gas parcels in the western state of Utah.
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