Clear Skies Act of February 14, 2002 a failed attempt to weaken the Clean Air Act. Bush reacted by changing standards on nitrogen oxide, SO2, and mercury through the EPA. The Healthy Forest Restoration Act of 2003 based on bad science in how to protect communities from forest fires and on the effects of "thinning" forests, i.e disrupting ecosystems. The real aim was to remove public scrutiny on sweetheart deals with logging companies by claiming such deals were to protect communities even when there were no communities in the vicinity.
On December 5, 2007, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a 2003 US Forest Service rule, part of the Healthy Forests Initiative, which exempted cuts up to 1,000 acres and burns up to 4,500 acres in national forests from environmental review. The rule allowed about 1.2 million acres to be cut or burned each year without studying the environmental impact of these activities.