Confusion followed President Bush's Earth Day announcement of the Wetlands Protection Program today when it was discovered that the land in question was, in fact, purchased by Halliburton Industries last week for $49.95.
The land purchase, the biggest ever in the history of the U.S. involved the sale of 100 million hectares. Who authorized the transaction is still a mystery, but White House officials have confirmed that records exist of an eBay auction ending via Buy Now 0.0000004 seconds after it went live.
President Bush first heard of the catastrophe from reporters as he arrived at a fundraiser 3 hours after his Earth Day speech. Initially he wouldn't believe the news, but when finally persuaded he produced the following prepared statement:
"I have just heard right this instant that the land I have promised to protect is no longer owned by the government but I am a man of my word as you all know this land will be protected even it means the government having to pay Halliburton, uh, say $3billion / year in compensation."
At this point he removed a contract signed Wednesday 21st by Halliburton from his inside pocket as proof that he wasn't bullshitting.
In an unrelated story, share prices reacted favorably to last nights announcement on the Halliburton website:
"We are pleased to announce that federal investigators have dropped all environmental related prosecutions after a reassessment has shown that the percentage of land affected is a mere 1.4% of our total land portfolio, not 66% as previously reported."