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News ::
From Bad to Worse: The EPA after Whitman (english)
22 May 2003
Both President Bush and Administrator Whitman disavowed a government report (authored by their own scientists) acknowledging humans' role in causing global warming -- we fear for the future.
Statement of Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope on Christie Whitman's Resignation
May 21, 2003

WASHINGTON - May 21 - Under the circumstances, Christie Whitman did the best she could at the EPA, but the Bush Administration simply wouldn't allow her to do the job. It's unfortunate that after the Bush Administration picked someone with environmental credentials to head the EPA, she wasn't given the power to do the job of cracking down on polluters and protecting our families and communities.

While Whitman came into office having demonstrated a concern for the environment, the Bush Administration's actions on the environment did nothing to build on that record.

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.

Just weeks after taking office, Whitman tried to act on President Bush's campaign pledge to curb the carbon dioxide causing global warming, but the Administration quickly cut her off. Then, in June, both President Bush and Administrator Whitman disavowed a government report acknowledging humans' role in causing global warming. An administration that ignores their own scientists' report on global warming makes us fear for the future.

In New Jersey, Gov. Whitman worked for clean air, supporting strong New Source Review protections to cut power plant pollution. Yet last year the Bush Administration weakened the Clean Air Act by gutting the New Source Review protections that require dirty power plants to install pollution controls when they increase their emissions.

The EPA did make one move in the right direction under Whitman, announcing a proposal last month to require cleaner fuel and engines for "non-road" diesel machinery, such as tractors, bulldozers, and other heavy equipment. But it is just a proposal. The EPA will take public comment on the proposal, and must fend off any attempts to weaken this rule.

Given the Administration's track record on the environment, we have little hope that President Bush's next EPA Administrator will be allowed do a better job of cutting pollution and keeping families safe.

Some lowpoints of the Bush Administration's EPA environmental record:

* Recommended cutting EPA enforcement budget by 13 percent, gutting the government's ability to hold polluters accountable for breaking the law.

* Breaking the campaign promise to curb carbon dioxide, which causes global warming.

* Weakening the Clean Air Act to allow more power-plant pollution.

* Opposing efforts to make polluters pay for cleanup of their toxic waste sites.

* Initially opposing efforts to reduce the amount of arsenic in our drinking water before public outcry forced a reversal.
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