Dick Cheney battles Laura Bush over protecting Pacific Ocean
With less than three months left in the Bush administration, the battle over protecting two vast areas of the Pacific Ocean from fishing and mineral exploitation is raging as if the president's legacy depended on it.
Which, actually, it does.
On one side isÂ first lady Laura Bush, who according to the Washington Post hasÂ asked for two briefingsÂ on the issue from the White House staff, and has asked her aides to confer with scientists on how to preserve diverse ecosystems.
On the other side isÂ Vice President Dick Cheney, who along with some officials in the Northern Mariana Islands argues that banning fishing and mineral exploration will hurt the region's economy.
"It's hard, but it should be," said James L. Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. "These are big, consequential, national decisions that have international ramifications."
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