Pres. Bush is getting hammered for cancelling new regulations to lower the arsenic levels in U.S. drinking water.
The Democrats are painting Bush as "best buds" with the polluters.
Here's the real deal.
Since the 1940s, the acceptable level of arsenic in water has been 50 parts per billion.
After years of study, the Clinton administration decided to lower that level to 10 parts per billion.
Clinton signed the new rule three days before he left office.
George W. Bush thought that timing was suspicious, and stopped the new arsenic rule.
After all ... if the arsenic level was so dangerous, why did Bill Clinton think Americans could drink it for seven years, 362 days of his administration?
If Bush had let the reg go into effect, he would have faced the political fallout of raising local property taxes as 50 thousand municipal water systems spent billions reducing arsenic levels.
But by cancelling the reg, he became public enemy number one for environmentalists.
Was this a Clinton booby trap, lose-lose for Bush? Did he have sex with that woman? The answer to both is ... sure looks like it.
But it's also true that Bush has a tin ear on environmental stuff, and he has to get better about it. The New York Times reports today that Bush is going to bring down the arsenic levels in drinking water ... and he should say that.
The Times also reports he's going to do something about greenhouse gasses, and he should say that.
And if he still wants to drill for oil in AMWR — I have often said that I think we should — then the president should remind Americans that Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York is talking about six-dollar-a-gallon gasoline if we don't come up with a real energy policy soon.
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