U.S. National Security Being Undermined From Within,

U.S. National Security Being Undermined From Within,

Reports Public Policy Group
October 17, 2001

Washington, D.C., October 17, 2001—“At a time when our national security should be at an all-time high, it is alarming to realize that some federal regulations have the potential to seriously damage this country’s ability to protect itself,” says Fred L. Smith, president of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


Smith is referring to regulations that make it easier for terrorists to obtain information about things like chemical plant operations and “risk management plans” under current “right to know” laws.  In addition, our military readiness is in jeopardy because of extreme environmentalists who are making endangered species laws, which hinder or halt any type of environmental disturbance, a priority over properly training recruits at military bases across the country.  Smith says both of these regulations, enacted during earlier, peaceful times, must today be re-examined in order to support our country and our troops.  “It’s dangerous to do otherwise, and I think the American public would support re-examining these regulations during these most troubling times,” he adds.


Angela Logomasini, Director of Risk and Environmental Policy for CEI, says amendments to the 1990 Clean Air Act required thousands of industrial facilities to file “risk management plans” with the EPA, including “worst case scenarios”, in case of a catastrophic accidental chemical release.  Despite objections from the FBI and CIA, pressure from “public interest groups” led to the posting of much of this information on Internet sites, including the EPA’s.  Since September 11th, the information has been removed from the EPA website, but Logomasini says many “reading rooms” throughout the country still have this information readily available—information that could “inadvertently assist our foes.”


Sean Paige, a journalist and former CEI Warren Brookes Fellow, this month reports in American Enterprise magazine the alarming news that military training sites across the country are “hunkered down, besieged by government regulators, national environmental organizations, and civilian citizen groups seeking to stop or severely restrict exercises they say are disturbing the peace, threatening endangered species, or polluting the air, land and sea.”  Top military officials have taken their concerns to Congress, claiming “military readiness will tumble unless the new obstacles to training are cleared away.”


Note to the media: To schedule an interview with either Fred Smith, Angela Logomasini, or Sean Paige, contact Judy Kent or Jody Clarke at 202-331-1010.


CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.  For more information about CEI, visit our website at http://www.cei.org/.