Governors Martin O'Malley and Tim Kaine of Maryland and Virginia met today at Mount Vernon to announce their new collaborative plan with the federal government to clean up the Chesapeake Bay, which is now basically a 64,000-square-mile toxic sludge pit.
And why do the governors think this latest plan will work, when past restoration plans have fallen by the wayside? Easy! Just make Barack Obama do it.
Obama signed an executive order today "creating a Federal Leadership Committee for the Chesapeake Bay to be chaired by the Environmental Protection Agency. The executive order calls for EPA and six other federal agencies to coordinate and expand federal tools and resources to help speed cleanup of the nation’s largest estuary."
And when a United States President signs some sheet of paper to establish a "Federal Leadership Committee" for the purpose of "coordinating tools and resources," you know it's something he thinks about constantly.
The EPA's new power ("more money") enables it to set "strict pollution caps backed by state action plans and federal consequences to assure progress; sharp reductions in air pollutants that impact the bay; robust use of existing authorities; key funding support, and unrivaled scientific and technical assistance." Sure, why not?
One major development is that state action plans will be installed in two-year commitments, whereas past clean-up efforts have frequently come in 10-year timeframes. As the Washington Posteditorialized this morning, these old plans "allowed politicians to appear to be doing something without having to be held accountable; they knew they'd be out of office when the deadlines rolled around."
Fortunately for Tim Kaine -- who pushed for this change -- he will be out of office in less than two years anyway. Ha ha, suckers! Enjoy cleaning up the filthy dead day, Terry McAuliffe or whatever!