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Sierra Club
Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet
RAW: Uncooked Truth, Beyond Belief 

Issue #278
Jan 16, 2009
The End of an Era

Our long national nightmare is (almost) over. We've laughed; we've cried.

(But mostly we've cried -- except when reading RAW, natch.)

It is a momentous occasion I never thought Dick Cheney would allow to happen: the final Friday of the Bush administration. And with it comes the final RAW of the Bush administration. In terms of sheer laughability, I don't think anything I could possibly write this week could outdo the glossy 50-page booklet of "accomplishments" that the shame-free zone known as the White House press office put out.  So instead let's take a stroll down memory lane and look back on some of my favorite RAWs of yesteryear:

  • Bush's 'Losership' on Climate: To great fanfare, President Bush announces that he's finally ready to tackle global warming by letting America's emissions continue to rise for another 17 years and then after that we can maybe, possibly start to cut emissions before the Earth goes from Lindsay Lohan to Amy Winehouse on the Hot Mess scale.  
  • Bush's Texas Two-Step on Gas Prices: Oil closes over $100 for the first time ever, Bush admits he has no idea his own administration was predicting $4 gas, and then threatens to veto clean energy incentives because they take back billions in giveaways to Big Oil. Rinse and repeat.
  • Lying, Just by Another Name: EPA Sycophant-in-Chief Steve Johnson appears under oath before the Senate Environment Committee to (not) explain why EPA unlawfully denied the California Clean Cars waivers. A further one finger salute was offered in the form of EPA citing United States v. Nixon, a case about the most notorious cover-up of all time, as its basis for not turning over documents subpoenaed by the committee.
  • Things That Make You Go MMS: A Mile High Scandal: Sex, pot, blow, public drunkenness, tens of thousands in improper gifts and the shorting of millions in oil royalties owed to the American people. Just another day in the Denver office of the Minerals Management Service. Drill, baby, drill!
  • Bachmann Drilling Overdrive: While it's not about the Bush administration itself per se, I've decided this one still counts because Michele Bachmann more or less made out with Bush at the State of the Union that one time.
  • EPA Waives Clean Cars Goodbye: Bush and Congressional Republicans sabotage the renewable energy part of the 2007 energy bill, then add insult to injury by using its passage as an excuse to break their own promises (and defy a Supreme Court ruling in the process) to do something about global warming. Oh, and of course they did it at 6:00 p.m. on the Friday before Christmas. 
  • Emission Accomplished: Where Bush continues to block action on warming at home and undermines international action by the G8, but at least spares German Chancellor Angela Merkel an unwanted backrub—this time.
  • Scarlett to Congress: I Don't Give a Damn (About the ESA):One in a long series of Interior Department officials to fall prey to scandal, office romance, prison time, firing, resignation, and/or Congressional subpoena.
  • Bush Administration In Bed with Big Oil (Literally!): There is obviously no ethical problem with going from being an industry lobbyist to a government official regulating that same industry and then back again, right? Or being a government official who shacks up with an industry lobbyist who used to be your boss when he was still a government official?
  • Griles Gone Wild: Yet another missive on the aforementioned industry lobbyist/ sex/Abramoff/favors/illicit affair scandal that landed former Dept. of Interior #2 Steven Griles in the big house. Oh, and it's my favorite RAW subject line EVER. 

Well kids, it's the end of an era. All the same, barring some tragic overdose of hope this weekend, I'll still be back week after week to report on all the shenanigans being pulled by King Coal, Big Oil, and their besties.

RAW is the Sierra Club's weekly e-mail update in which our team of Sierra Club correspondents bring you humorous insights about environmental stories you won't want to believe.

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