Bush EPA Nominees:
Pro-Industry, Not Pro-Environment

This news comes as no surprise, given that President Bush is responsible for the laughably named "Healthy Forests" and "Clear Skies" initiatives. This is just more proof that Bush and Republicans are more interested in using federal government as a tool for their corporate donors than as a servant to the American people.
The White House has renominated three people for top jobs affecting the environment who previously were blocked in Congress because of their pro-industry views.

If necessary, said industry lobbyists and Republican aides in Congress, Bush intends to skirt the Senate approval process by making recess appointments to put the three nominees in the posts.

All three have ties to industries that face costly Environmental Protection Agency restrictions, and all three previously have bypassed or questioned the EPA's scientific process.

They are William Wehrum, who would head the air office of the EPA; Alex Beehler, to be the EPA's inspector general; and Susan Dudley, who would become White House regulations czar.

Wehrum, a former lawyer for the chemical, utility and auto industries, was counsel to the EPA's air office when controversy erupted over the agency's new standard for power plant mercury emissions. The mercury rule contained whole paragraphs lifted verbatim from a memo by Latham & Watkins, Wehrum's former law firm, which represented utility companies affected by the rule.

Meanwhile, to replace Nikki Tinsley, the retired inspector general who criticized EPA's work on the mercury rule, the administration has recommended Beehler, a Pentagon official and former executive for Koch Industries, a private oil and chemical conglomerate based in Wichita, Kan.

An inspector general is supposed to provide independent oversight of the agency's management, conducting audits and investigations. The EPA said this month it will eliminate 30 staffers from the inspector general's office.

Dudley headed a free-market think tank, the Mercatus Center, at George Mason University supported in part by Koch Industries, whose chairman sits on the board. Bush has renominated her to lead a section of the White House Office of Management and Budget that reviews all proposed government rules, where she is now a special adviser. The White House declined a request to interview her.

At Mercatus, Dudley described EPA decisions as unnecessarily stringent. For example, she wrote that the agency should not value the lives of older people as highly as the lives of younger people when calculating the impact of arsenic in drinking water.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...