27th July 16:08
Bush nominee for EPA head: track record like a fox guarding henhouse
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 11 , 2003 CONTACT:
Eric Antebi (415) 977-5747
Statement on Nomination of Governor Leavitt for EPA Administrator from Carl Pope, Executive Director
The Sierra Club today announced its opposition to the nomination of Governor Mike Leavitt for EPA Administrator because of his anti-environmental record as Governor of Utah.
Governor Mike Leavitt’s environmental track record, which includes working behind closed doors with Interior Secretary Gale Norton to open up Utah’s wildlands to polluting industries, suggests that he will be a good fit for the Bush administration but a disappointing choice for Americans concerned with environmental protection.
As Governor, Mike Leavitt secretly negotiated two controversial deals with the Department of Interior to open up millions of acres of Utah wilderness to roadbuilding and development. As EPA Administrator, Governor Leavitt would not alleviate concerns that the Bush Administration is prone to making shady deals at the expense of a safe and healthy environment.
Governor Leavitt also championed the notorious Legacy Highway, which would have destroyed Utah’s world renowned wetlands and fertile farmlands along the Great Salt Lake. His appointment does not inspire confidence in a Bush Administration that removed federal oversight for 20 percent of America’s waterways.
Environmental enforcement has also been weak under Governor Leavitt’s Administration, and it’s unlikely he’d get the job done in a Bush Administration which already has a terrible enforcement record. New criminal pollution cases referred by the EPA for federal prosecution are down more than 40 percent, and civil pollution cases are down 25 percent since the start of the Bush Administration.
With a history of cutting closed-door deals at the expense of the environment, there is reason to be concerned that Governor Leavitt can adequately play the role of environmental champion within the Bush administration. Even Governor Christie Todd Whitman, who came into office having demonstrated a concern for the environment, wasn't given the power to do the job of cracking down on polluters and protecting our families and communities.
From resisting efforts to get arsenic out of our drinking water, to weakening the clean air act and the enforcement of environmental safeguards, the Bush Administration has demonstrated a pattern of siding with corporate polluters over the health and safety of America's families.
With the appointment of Governor Leavitt for EPA Administrator, it is difficult to imagine that pattern improving.
The Bush administration must really hate Americans and themselves as well. Why else would they set out to turn every mountain, stream, and meadow into piles of dead cash?