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  • Topplebush.com: A premier collection of articles on Bush and his family, past and present, including many articles on his failures as a businessman and as Governor of TX and President
    in the nation far surpassing Los Angeles But as concern over the health and environmental consequences rise the governor s policy has been only to fight the U S Environmental Protection Agency s attempts to impose stricter air quality protections When confronted with the option of enforcing regulations or bypassing them Gov Bush has consistently chosen the latter After research showed that 1 000 unregulated grandfathered industrial plants accounted for a huge proportion of Texas air pollution Bush opposed legislation that would force the companies to clean up and instead cut a back room deal to install a voluntary program The heads of these companies include some of the Governor s largest campaign contributors The Governor intervened to ask the federal government to let the state handle planning to protect endangered species then supported legislation and other actions to allow development and other threats to the species to continue so far indefinitely Under Bush s watch Texas has deregulated many aspects of its environmental policy including policies governing wastewater discharges pesticides air pollution and even certain types of nuclear waste Industry consultants and board members of polluting companies have been appointed to run Texas key regulating agencies As a result state environmental regulators have become largely ineffective with inadequate resources or direction to enforce even the regulations still on the books Texas environmental agency inspectors are now actually required as agency policy give notice of compliance inspections one to two weeks in advance Texas PEER frankly fears for the nation s environmental well being if Gov Bush s agenda rises to the federal government level Governor Bush has said What Texans can dream Texans can do Clearly Gov Bush never dreamed of cleaning up Texas environment Over the next few months Texas PEER will explore all these issues and many more related to Governor Bush s Texas environmental policies Once per week Texas PEER will be updated to include one or more new stories related to the Governor s Texas environmental record If you d like to be notified when new material is posted to this site please sign up for our Texas PEER mailing list Other Stories availabe at Texas PEER 1 Airing It Out In Texas intro 3 part story 2 225 000 Texas Children Attend School near Grandfathered Polluters Part I 3 The Bush Environmental Agenda in Action Protecting Grandfathered Air Polluters Part II 4 Polluters Bet Big On Bush On The Campaign Money Trail Part III 5 The Privileged Class Bush pushes secrecy for environmental audits Part I 6 The Privileged Class II Promoting compliance or facilitating a cover up 7 The Privileged Class III Bush Contributors Back Audit Privilege Law 8 Home on the Range at the Nation s Largest Sewage Dump 9 Bush s quiet little war on the Texas environment Assault on the regulatory front Part I 10 Bush s quiet little war on the Texas environment Assault on the regulatory front Part II 11 Superfund a Super Deal for Texas Polluters Part

    Original URL path: http://www.topplebush.com/article3_recgovernor.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Topplebush.com: A premier collection of articles on Bush and his family, past and present, including many articles on his failures as a businessman and as Governor of TX and President
    salaries 41st in per capita spending on public education 43 of Texas teachers plan to leave or are considering leaving teaching Money that could have gone into raising teacher salaries went into tax cuts for the rich The high school dropout rates in Texas are 30 overall The high school dropout rate in Texas is 50 among minorities Missing students and other mirages in Texas enrollment statistics profoundly affected both reported dropout statistics and test scores At the start of every school year school begins with literally hundreds of classrooms without teachers Governor Bush appointed a teacher certification board that instead of working on improving the standards for the teaching profession and improving teacher quality he decided instead to allow people who have poor credentials to enter into the teaching profession One in five Texas high school teachers are not certified About 41 000 of 63 000 vacancies in Texas public schools were unfilled in 1999 Since about 1982 the rates at which Black and Hispanic students are required to repeat grade 9 have climbed steadily such that by the late 1990s nearly 30 of Black and Hispanic students were failing grade 9 Texas charter schools were even poorer than public schools Even though the racial mix was skewed to non white and the number of schools 66 is small the economically disadvantaged rate was very similar the percent of special ed students was less in the charter schools and the test scores were uniformly substantially lower On national tests NAEP with one exception 4 th grade math Texas scores have remained flat over the period Bush was governor After Bush took office Texasís own state test TASP a college readiness test results showed a sharp decrease from 65 2 to 43 3 in the percentage of students passing all three parts reading math and writing Performance on the SAT in Texas did not improved since the early 1990s compared with SAT takers nationally 79 of Texans who are 25 or older have a high school diploma or equivalency certificate and 24 have bachelor s degrees both lower than the national average 147 000 people in state prisons Counting state jails and on parole there are 545 000 people in the system On any given day 450 people were on death row Since 1976 Texas has executed 138 people some of which were people who were mentally ill profoundly retarded and people who are innocent 48th in per capita funding for public health 47th in delivery of social services 5th in percentage of people living in poverty 1 in percentage of poor working parents without insurance 1 in children without health insurance Fair Use Notice This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental political economic democratic domestic and international issues etc We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided

    Original URL path: http://www.topplebush.com/article4_recgovernor.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Topplebush.com: A premier collection of articles on Bush and his family, past and present, including many articles on his failures as a businessman and as Governor of TX and President
    525 million in assets run by Hicks associates and other major GOP donors After the Houston Chronicle exposed such insider dealings in a 1999 article Tom Hicks resigned from the board Investments made by UTIMCO under the watch of Tom Hicks include the following as reported by the Multinational Monitor Texas for Public Justice and Bushwatch net The Carlyle Group the Group s partners include Bush Sr and ex Secretary of State James Baker III Maverick Capital Fund Major project of the Wyly brothers Bass Brothers Enterprises The Bass family donated 210 000 to Bush s campaign through PAC s with 273 000 from themselves and they invested 25 million in Bush s Harken Oil venture Kohlberg Kravis Roberts This corporate buyout firm would soon join Hicks Muse in a 1 5 billion takeover of Regal Cinemas Evercore Partners Evercore and Hicks joined forces for a 900 million television buyout American Security Partners Landed a contract with UTIMCO months after selling several radio stations to Tom Hicks Wand Partners and Inverness Management Firms run by friends of Tom Hicks such as former frat brother Bruce Schnitzer Another notable company not covered by the Multinational Monitor was an investment in Capstar Broadcasting run by R Steven Hicks Tom s brother The brothers have had strong interests in national communications companies and some deals that have been proposed some sought after by trustbusters have reached the billions Clear Channel Communications AMFM owned by Hicks Muse with Tom Hicks as the vice chair is the largest chain of radio stations in the U S Hicks Muse also owns the second largest chain in the U S Chancellor Media Hicks is also known as the power behind the revitalization of Dr Pepper and he gained 1 477 percent when he sold to Cadbury Schweppes in 1995 2 Hicks and Ross Perot Jr Together Hicks and Ross Perot Jr chairman CEO and director of Perot Systems Corp and son of the former presidential candidate created the most expensive hockey and basketball arena in U S history The American Airlines Center cost 420 million 125 million of that came from Dallas s taxpayers This was soon after the Ballpark in Arlington was constructed and partially funded from tax payer dollars As an added incentive for constructing new arenas franchise owners received 10 million bonuses Hicks did see some money of this money from building the American Airlines Center for his Dallas Starts although he did not receive it from the newly constructed ballpark that houses his Texas Rangers it was built before he made the purchase Hicks also has interests in minor league baseball he just built a new stadium in Frisco and three entrepreneurs have filed a lawsuit against him for freezing them out of their interests in bringing a minor league team to Frisco Currently Hicks and Perot Jr are working together in another business venture that coincides with this new arena Hicks s company Hicks Muse Tate Furst Inc and Perot s company

    Original URL path: http://www.topplebush.com/article5_recgovernor.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Topplebush.com: A premier collection of articles on Bush and his family, past and present, including many articles on his failures as a businessman and as Governor of TX and President
    4 career patron Hicks Muse long wanted to tap the 13 billion University of Texas UT endowment for its takeover deals As Bush assumed office in 95 Hicks was confirmed as a University of Texas Regent and hired lobbyists to push a bill creating the UT Investment Management Co UTIMCO With Hicks as its first chair UTIMCO began doling out contracts to private investment firms to manage portions of the endowment A scandal blew up when the media discovered that UTIMCO awarded many of these lucrative contracts to firms tied to Hicks and Bush including one that former President Bush reportedly owns a piece of The UTIMCO board doling out these contracts included Clear Channel Chair L Lowry Mays and the Pioneers Tom Loeffler A W Riter and A R Sanchez Ed Bass and Pioneer Charles Wyly owned two firms that landed some of these contracts Political Contributions Bush Gubernatorial Races 51 000 Republican Hard Money 24 000 Republican Soft Money 0 Democratic Hard Money 10 000 Democratic Soft Money 0 Federal PAC Hard Money 5 000 Total Contributions 90 000 Soft Money from Employer 55 000 to Republicans 0 to Democrats 55 000 Fair Use Notice This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental political economic democratic domestic and international issues etc We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law In accordance with Title 17 U S C Section 107 the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes For more

    Original URL path: http://www.topplebush.com/article6_recgovernor.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Topplebush.com: A premier collection of articles on Bush and his family, past and present, including many articles on his failures as a businessman and as Governor of TX and President
    front of the governor s mansion a sidewalk that historically has been the site of protest At this time George was launching his presidential run and he simply didn t want these dissenters to his environmental policies getting between him and the TV cameras and so he had the state police move them to a designated protest zone in a faraway parking lot At the Republican presidential nominating convention in Philadelphia in 2000 candidate Bush created a fenced in out of sight protest zone that would only hold a few hundred people at a time And as president his autocratic games continue for example last year at the Columbia South Carolina airport a protester with a No War for Oil sign stood in an area where Bush supporters stood The protester was ordered to move a half mile away He refused so Bush s police arrested him This is not America the Land of the Free but a new land of Bush autocracy Four groups have now sued the secret service for systematically shutting out the people s protest To learn more call the American Civil Liberties Union in Philadelphia at 215 923 4357 Fair Use Notice This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental political economic democratic domestic and international issues etc We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law In accordance with Title 17 U S C Section 107 the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes For more

    Original URL path: http://www.topplebush.com/article7_recgovernor.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Topplebush.com: A premier collection of articles on Bush and his family, past and present, including many articles on his failures as a businessman and as Governor of TX and President
    statistical juggling would bring even the severe pollution in the Houston Galveston area into compliance with health standards The agency wrote The TNRCC believes that applying the current standard of 120 parts per billion ppb to a more reasonable averaging period would more closely reflect actual public exposure than the current one hour averages EPA should also consider that a non attainment designation would be more properly based on a composite reading from multiple monitors This would reserve a general non attainment designation to circumstances where there is evidence that a pollutant is affecting a wider geographical area 5 The agency then argued that a non attainment designation should be based on monitoring data rather than using computer models to estimate pollution levels but only if they could control the location of the monitors and the way the data is used While computer modeling is useful in determining sites for air quality monitors it should not be used to designate an area as non attainment The designation should be based on actual monitor readings adjusted for background levels Monitors placed to determine background levels should not be used to designate previously undesignated areas as non attainment Monitors placed within an urban area where exceedances are expected or ongoing should be used to determine the degree to which the area exceeds the background level 5 Fourth Step Undermine Inspections On September 1 1995 Governor Bush announced that farmer and rancher John Baker would be his final appointee to the three member TNRCC board With the board now complete the commission quickly supported reversing a 23 year old policy on conducting inspections without prior notification Texas has an estimated 1 585 industrial facilities that are ranked as a major sources of air pollution Additionally there are 75 minor sources subject to annual inspection Field investigators working in the 16 regional offices perform the once per year routine inspections as required by agreement with the EPA For approximately twenty three years surprise annual inspections were carried out at Texas industrial plants without first informing plant officials But on Sept 11 1995 only ten days after the third and final Bush appointee was announced John Young the acting division director for Field Operations issued a memorandum changing surprise annual inspections to mandatory announced site visits with as much a two weeks notice for all TNRCC programs This includes yearly compliance reviews and visible emissions observations of the plant on the day of the visit The memo stated Effective the date of this IOM inter office memorandum it will be the policy of Field Operations Division to provide notification to facilities of our intent to conduct a compliance inspection prior to all routine inspections Ideally this notification should occur one to two weeks prior the inspection date The Bush Pollution Plan On October 31 1995 the TNRCC announced the Texas Ozone position on revising the Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards NAAQS The key to this plan is to use a statistical averaging scheme across

    Original URL path: http://www.topplebush.com/article8_recgovernor.shtml (2016-02-13)
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  • Topplebush.com: A premier collection of articles on Bush and his family, past and present, including many articles on his failures as a businessman and as Governor of TX and President
    or Beaumont Port Arthur The Agency estimated that EPA s proposed ozone standard of 0 08 would raise the number of non attainment areas to nine more than any other state If EPA implements a new standard the TNRCC recommends that the new ozone standard be 0 09 ppm or higher averaged over eight hours The 0 09 ppm level would protect the public health and avoid the creation of new non attainment areas within Texas The commission also recommends that the EPA pursue research and not propose a standard for fine particulates until more is known about their effect on human health 5 Floyd Bowen the chairman of a consortium of industry groups such as Exxon and General Motors who were working on the proposed standards revealed the close relationship between the agency and the regulated community He advocated maintaining the current standards because of the high cost and potential economic impact on millions of people In the Spring 1997 edition of TNRCC publication Natural Outlook he said The costs of air pollution controls designed to achieve the proposed standards would dwarf the marginal ozone benefits while whatever benefits might come from the new particulate standards are too uncertain to compare with the huge costs Weighing costs and benefits of different policy options is a responsible procedure but in this case it was an obvious attempt to delay implementation Economic studies had already shown that the financial impact of the new standards would be 8 billion compared to prolonging the lives of 20 000 Americans and saving 51 billion to 112 billion in health costs and reduced productivity from lost worker days Arithmetic Texas Style This same TNRCC Outlook article explained the scientific basis for the agency argument against the new standards In a series of charts the agency attempted to make the case that current standards were working quite well even given a rising Texas population and rising gross domestic product Under the headline Progress Under Current Ozone Standard The agency publication on page 8 reads A statewide decline in the number of ozone exceedance days each year since 1988 demonstrates that EPA s current ozone standards is working in Texas communities On the surface this appears to be accurate but an analysis conducted by the Environmental Defense Fund s Texas Office EDF tells a much different story In a letter to the TNRCC in May 1997 Jim Marston pointed out that the article was factually wrong There has not been a decline in the number of ozone exceedance days each year since 1988 Between 1988 and 1996 the number of exceedance days increased in 1990 1994 and 1995 relative to the previous year said Marston 6 EDF also singled out the chart on page 9 as particularly misleading because it omitted the odd numbered years including 1995 when there were 68 exceedance days across the state His conclusion was that this was intentional When this chart is viewed in the context of the entire article one can

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  • Topplebush.com: A premier collection of articles on Bush and his family, past and present, including many articles on his failures as a businessman and as Governor of TX and President
    campalign to build public support against proposed EPA ozone standards This campalign is one of the most visible examples of the close relationship between Gov Bush and polluting industry The public opposition from Gov Bush s appointees against the new proposed federal standards for ozone and particulates are covered in Part One and Two of the series Efforts included attempts to statistically juggle monitoring data and personally influence Congress to reject the new standards The agency also conducted a slick public relations campalign producing materials that distorted the ozone pollution problems that were sending Texans to the emergency rooms Ultimately the efforts by Governor Bush s administration to completely stop the new stricter federal standards failed However the did succeed in weakening the proposed federal standards to save his supporter millions of dollars in pollution control costs Supplemental Environmental Programs Another example of campalign contribution and concern is the TNRCC s Supplemental Environmental Programs SEP s In exchange for paying a reduced penalty a company found guilty of violating environmental laws could propose a program that would reduce pollution enhance the quality of the environment or increase environmental awareness in the public These programs were developed as a way to put resources back into a community that had suffered from pollution due to a violation of state environmental laws As PEER documented in Part Two of this series under the Bush administration this program was subverted and used to subsidize business activities for the violating company that would have occurred normally or had no environmental benefit to the surrounding community Between 1996 and 1998 companies that took advantage of these Supplemental Environmental Programs contributed 116 461 to Bush s gubernatorial campaligns SEP Company Amount to GWB ASARCO 1 000 CHAMPION INTERNATIONAL CORP 4 500 DOW CHEMICAL COMPANY 30 000 FINA OIL CHEMICAL COMPANY 9 000 JOBE CONCRETE 1 000 OCCIDENTAL 21 000 PHILLIPS 66 COMPANY 21 111 TEXAS INDUSTRIES 15 600 ULTRAMAR DIAMOND SHAMROCK 13 250 Total 116 461 Rolling Back Regulations Hydrogen Fluoride Controls Another anti environmental initiative in Texas covered in Part Two of this series was a rollback of state regulations that have no corresponding federal regulation or requirement The regulations concerning hydrogen fluoride were important to the coal burning utilities and the semiconductor industry They contributed over 112 700 to Bush s campaligns Company Hydrogen Fluoride emmissions lbs to GWB Advanced Micro Devices 305 1 000 Motorola 5200 6 500 National Semiconductor 886 2 000 Owens Corning 50 000 36 500 Shell Oil 870 42 700 Texas Instruments 17 060 20 500 Weatherford 1000 3 500 Totals 75 321 112 700 Other Attacks on Texas Environmental Regulation Many of the policy changes made by the Bush appointees at the TNRCC to weaken environmental protection cannot be directly linked to benefit a specific company However several of the policy changes including cutting the enforcement budget requiring prior notification before conducting annual inspections and the shift to voluntary compliance for enforcement measures send a clear signal to the

    Original URL path: http://www.topplebush.com/article10_recgovernor.shtml (2016-02-13)
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