Obama's Environmental Legacy: Destroying Pristine Tongass Habitats

By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog.

Those of you who follow my work know I give President Obama credit on some issues, but find him an overall disappointment. One area in which I've been thinking (and blogging) that he's going great guns is on environmental protection. But now we're finding out he's caving in to moneyed pressures there as well.

Approving road-building in untouched parts of the Tongass National Forest will create a legacy for the Obama administration of destroyed pristine habitat, devastation of species and what little is left of true wilderness in America. It is, in a word, despicable.

I wonder how long it will take the majority of Americans to recognize that when money is waved in front of this man's face, he caves. His promise of change is meaningless. He's as beholden to special interests, lobbyists, and the $3,000 suit crowd as any of his predecessors.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack's stated reason for approving the 6.9-mile road, which had been started but halted by environmental groups' legal challenges, is job creation. There are plenty of ways to create jobs in Alaska without destroying habitat.

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By Bonnie Erbe