Monday, November 10, 2008

Obama To Begin Gutting Bush Directives Immediately

If there was any doubt about the power of the U.S. presidency -- and I mean the real Constitutional powers, not the stuff invented by the Bush-Cheney regime -- we've certainly experienced the frustration of it with the Iraq war and with executive orders, that allow the president to effect the national agenda with no buy-in from Congress.

The good news is that a new president can rescind any executive orders issued by the previous president and President-elect Barack Obama is sending signals that he will hit the ground running and begin reversing some of George W. Bush's orders immediately upon taking office.

"I think across the board, on stem cell research, on a number of areas, you see the Bush administration even today moving aggressively to do things that I think are probably not in the interest of the country," said Obama's transition team leader John Podesta on Sunday. "There's a lot that the president can do using his executive authority without waiting for congressional action, and I think we'll see the president do that."

In addition to Bush-issued executive orders on things like stem cell research, Podesta mentioned the likelihood that Obama would reverse an order allowing for oil and gas drilling on 360,000 acres of public land in Eastern Utah.

"Previous administrations proved that there can be a balance between wilderness protection and oil and gas development," said former Bureau of Land Management Director Jim Baca, who served under President Clinton. "Unfortunately, the Bush Administration has worked tirelessly to appease the oil and gas industry no matter the cost to our national heritage of wild and untamed places."

The Sierra Club, the country's largest grassroots environmental group, also weighed in saying of the Bush administration "they have consistently weakened protections over the last eight years, and we are encouraged that the Obama team plans to act to clean up the mess when they get into office."

Look for the fire-sale of Utah land to Bush and Cheney's Big Oil buddies to end very quickly on or very shortly after January 20th.

"They want to have oil and gas drilling in some of the most sensitive, fragile lands in Utah," Podesta said. "I think that's a mistake."

And to John McCain and Sarah Palin I say, drill that, baby.