- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 2, 2000

Noble: The National Association of Manufacturers, for holding the EPA to its duty to disclose environmental regulations.

The Environmental Protection Agency has 67 regulatory decisions pending before President Bill Clinton, but the agency doesn't want the public to know what these are.

The National Association of Manufactures learned of the list last week in a Washington Post news story and immediately asked what all the items on the list are. The news story, titled "White House Seeks Legacy in New Rules" by Charles Bobington and Judy Warrick, did not contain details about any items on the list. A quick call to the EPA revealed the list would not be made available to the public, according to a spokesman for the association. Later the association learned even The Post was not given a copy of the list.

Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, the association not only has a right to this information, but also has legal tools to get it. The FOIA request may not be acted upon before Mr. Clinton has a chance to act on the regulations, but the sunshine will eventually make its way into the halls of the EPA.

In theory, environmental regulations are intended to stop pollution by changing the behavior of businesses and individuals. Therefore, the EPA has no reason to keep secrets. How can regulations inform would-be polluters as to how to clean up their ways if the regulations are kept secret?

Such secrets indicate a darker motive at the EPA using regulatory power for political purposes. The EPA has an obligation to make its policies clear and regulate only in the best interests of this country and its environment. For keeping the EPA in line, the National Association of Manufactures is certainly performing a noble act.

Knave: Ted Turner, for fostering religious intolerance at the United Nations.

Ted Turner shocked the world when he gave $1 billion to the United Nations. Now many Christians may be shocked to learn that they are to pay the price for the media mogul's benevolence.

This week the United Nations showed its propensity for Orwellian doublespeak led Mr. Turner. The international organization held a summit comprised of more than 1,000 religious and spiritual leaders from around the globe. The event was billed as a move to foster world peace and religious tolerance. Instead, the summit was marked by two events that revealed cowardice and intolerance towards Christians.

The cowardly episode occurred when U.N. officials caved in to Chinese officials and excluded the Dalai Lama from the summit. Of course, the government of China is one of the most religiously intolerant in the world. This fact about China is not news, but news can be made about the religious crackdown in the world's most populous nation every day. One story recently reported involved several Western missionaries kicked out of the country. Their followers were not so lucky; many were sent to prison.

The second episode is only slightly more despicable than giving in to intolerant Chinese officials at a summit geared to foster tolerance. Mr. Turner was honorary chairman of the summit (no doubt a reward for his generosity in the past), so he had the opportunity to address the gathered religious leaders. In his remarks, Mr. Turner called Christianity "very intolerant" and said it failed as a belief system "of religious freedom."

Someone should point out to Mr. Turner that Christians dominate the United States and Western Europe. And these are the nations behind the push for global religious tolerance, as well as just about any other human rights issue you can think of. This is no coincidence, but an integral part of their Christian heritage. Until Mr. Turner comes to understand this, he will remain a knave or the worst order.

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