Another EPA Administrator Bites the Dust?


First I read one of those quick moving news feeds that the EPA warned it’s enforcement officers not to speak to Congress. That little bit of info just peaked my curiosity–speak up about what?


Now four senators on the Environment and Public Works Committee are urging Steven Johnson, the third EPA administrator under Bush, to resign as it appears he lied to a Senate committee.


Johnson claims he acted alone when he decided California should not regulate CO2 emissions from motor vehicles, but he was originally going to issue a partial waiver to CA. Someone changed his mind. The preceding EPA administrators left just as questionably and quickly as Johnson.


Christine Todd Whitman, 2001-2003, resigned just before reports of the clean up of 9/11 came out and according to SourceWatch,  “Eric Shaeffer, the EPA’s head of regulatory enforcement under Whitman, resigned under protest. He told Flanders that Whitman is ‘a Republican first and an environmentalist way down the list.'”


Michael Leavitt was Bush’s second appointee as EPA Administrator. Twelve states and several NE cities sued the EPA to block the new Clean Air rules during his leadership. The states argued the rules would weaken both environmental and health protection for citizens. Nice real nice. Scientist’s discontent with censorship was surfacing along with altered reports about global warming too. Leavitt left the EPA to head up Health and Human Services. That’s when a memo from Leavitt’s new department suggested its employees should buy hybrid. It suggested the whole federal fleet should go hybrid. This suggestion was via e-mail to 67,000 employees! So was Leavitt environmentally minded or not, altering reports of global warming on the one hand, then telling employees to buy foreign hybrids on the other?


And now Stephen Johnson appears to have succumbed to political pressure from the White House too. Who will be the replacement this time, someone from oil, someone from the NRA and/or hunting industry, or lumber, or coal…? I mean we had Steven Griles as Deputy Secretary of the Interior that oversees the EPA, and USFWS among other things, that resigned and went to work for Conoco Phillips oil as a lobbyist. The Deputy Chief of Staff to the Dept. of Interior, Sue Ellen Wooldridge, denied living with Griles when she still worked for the EPA. And then there was Philip Cooney, former head of the White House Council for Environmental Quality. Cooney was caught editing important data from scientific reports for quite awhile as well as pressuring the EPA to go along, so much so, that in 2002 the EPA removed an entire section on global warming from its annual report about air pollution. Cooney came to his position at the council as a lawyer and former lobbyist  for the American Petroleum Institute.  He left to work for Exxon Mobil. Right now a former lobbyist for an Intl. Hunt Club heads the USFWS. Ethics abound in the Bush administration.


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