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Monday, Dec 22nd

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Agriculture chief's priority: avoid jail

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He overhauled federal forest policy to cut more trees — and became a lightning rod for environmentalists who say he is intent on logging every tree in his reach.

Rey, a former timber industry lobbyist who has directed U.S. forest policy since 2001, also wants to set up state rules making it easier to build roads in remote national forests and restore overgrown, unhealthy forests by clearing them of small trees and debris that can stoke wildfires. And he wants to streamline cumbersome regulations that can paralyze actions on public lands.

TVNL Comment: Another industry lobby rep in charge of a government regulatory body. George W. Bush has run the fox guarding the hen house administration. No matter how broken our political system is, this would not have happened had Al Gore taken office. Ralph Nader could not have been any more wrong by saying that there was no difference between the two. Gore would have been by far the lesser of two evils. Bush and his administration are evil personified.

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