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Another day, another sound science policy getting Buswhacked: The Bush administration is quietly pushing for the elimination of a committee that provides crucial intelligence data for scientists studying everything from climate change to hurricanes and pollution. The Civil Applications Committee, which is under the jurisdiction of the USGS, reviews civilian requests for classified information and makes recommendations to intelligence officials – who exercise the final say in deciding what gets declassified.
In its place, the Bush administration would establish a new office in DHS to review these requests and others from various law enforcement agencies. “They are worried. The scientists say this information is very valuable to them, and they are concerned this new office will be looking more at homeland security and law enforcement,” said Rep. Norm Dicks (D-WA), chairman of the House appropriations subcommittee that oversees the USGS and a member of the Homeland Security Committee.
The government’s plan to replace the Civil Applications Committee with the National Applications Office in DHS was hatched shortly after the attacks of 9/11. The Bush administration had hoped the new office would already be up and running by now; plans have since been put on hold to tackle new questions about scientific and civil liberties.
Source: Jeremy Elton Jacqout’s article on Treehugger.com via: McClatchy Newspapers – Scientists fear losing access to intelligence data
Under the cloak of bureaucracy, the Bush administration has sanctioned a back-door deal with the timber industry that would see the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) remove protection for old-growth and streamside forests in the Cascade, Siskiyou and Coastal mountains of western Oregon. The preferred alternative of its Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the “Western Oregon Plan Revisions (WOPR)” would result in a whopping 700% increase in logging of the state’s remaining old-growth forests.