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Commentary on Mid-term Report Card

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PERC’s Mid-Term Report Card on the Bush administration’s environmental policy has prompted many comments. We welcome responses from all comers and would like to post them on this page.

Please email your comments to us at and include some brief information about yourself, your job, or your particular interest in the policies or the report card. If you would like other readers to be able to contact you, include your email address.



Ralph C. Jensen is the associate publisher for Stevens Media Group, a business-to-business trade journal publisher. Mr. Jensen, who is responsible for OSHA Week, Waste Week, and Environmental Protection News, writes to us from Dallas, Texas.

I read with interest everything that PERC publishes and have been fortunate enough to attend one of your economic/environmental retreats. As with everything PERC touches, well done.

I am greatly disappointed, however, for the C minus PERC has given President Bush for a mid-term grade. Actually, I’m appalled.

Give Mr. Bush a break considering all he has had to deal with coming into office. The economy was slumping after Americans found quick and easy wealth in the stock market; a number of companies had been caught cooking the books (Enron comes to mind); and not since Harry S. Truman has a president had to deal with such domestic and global terror.

President Bush entered the White House from a previous administration that neither thought to or could establish an energy policy. For the past four decades, this country has needed an energy policy, and when President Bush offered a suggestion, environmentalists and liberals were up in arms. Yet, during the Clinton administration there was little or no policy action.

As you scored Mr. Bush, I would have thought it prudent to take into consideration all that he has had to deal with. For starters, no other president since the George Washington era has had to deal with terrorism on American soil. This wasn’t an Oklahoma City bombing-type of terrorism, but rather was a global attack on Americans by a group of people who were willing to kill themselves to accomplish fear and terror.

Had the previous administration taken care of attacks on Americans globally, such as the U.S.S. Cole, two embassies in Africa, dragging a dead American Marine by the boot through the streets in Somalia, we might not be having such a conversation. But the fact is, former President Clinton did nothing … compromising our strength and staging our vulnerability.

America is a superpower for a reason. And, part of that reason begats your ability to espouse a free market environmental approach. As Americans, we are able to work diligently to make the world a better place, rather than march in front of news cameras with nothing better to do with our lives. We don’t stand out in the streets burning effigies of the leaders of other nations nor their flags.

But at some point, you have to consider whether freedom is more important than your special agenda and whether the leader of the most powerful nation on earth has more to do with his time than cater to special interests. I believe President Bush has been very busy protecting our individual freedoms.

Certainly, President Bush is surrounded by advisors, all with specialties that are important. Not equally important, but critical in their own right and in their own time. Mr. Bush has good people assisting him with occupational labor and health, as well as environmental issues, to name a few. I am comfortable as an American that he listens to each advisor raise key points about their departmental work, but at the end of the day he is focused on our freedom.

Thank goodness we have a president who doesn’t do the easy thing first. Mr. Bush is more than an C minus president in that his vision is about Americans and not about a legacy. And, without his vision and ability to create stability in a world filled with zealots and chaos, we would have no need to worry about such things as free-market anything.

Because we have a president who cares more about all Americans, than our previous administrator who spent time training a naive intern, we are able to go about our daily tasks with relative ease and security. President Bush has shown from the start of his administration that he is willing to be a decisionmaker … something this country lacked for eight long years with Mr. Clinton.

Thankfully, we have a president who speaks from the heart rather than shooting from the hip, and who has earned the respect of Americans, as opposed to an embarrassment for his actions. I find it incredible that we hold President Bush’s feet to the fire for the economy when Wall Street has been catering to dishonest and untrustworthy corporate executives for years. Let’s put the blame where it squarely belongs.

I do live in Texas and certainly support President George W. Bush. I probably wouldn’t give him the grade of A, but certainly he is deserving of more than a passive C minus for many, many jobs well done.

Kindest regards,
Ralph C. Jensen
Associate Publisher, Editorial
Stevens Media Group
5151 Beltline Road, 10th Floor
Dallas, TX 75254

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