Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Tuesday | August 12, 2003

Utah guv gets EPA nod

Bush has named Utah Governor Mike Leavitt to replace Whitman at the EPA.

Leavitt had previously declined an invitation for the job, but apparently changed his mind. At the time, speculation swirled that Senate Democrats would slice up the nominee to highlight environmental differences between the parties.

Although Gochnour didn't specify the reasons for Leavitt's reluctance to accept the White House invitation, Senate Democrats are promising that the forthcoming EPA nominee's confirmation hearings will be a prime-time opportunity to attack the Bush administration's environmental record. Minority leaders are discussing tactics that include filibustering any EPA nominee who does not have what Democrats consider a demonstrated commitment to environmental protection.

"I would say to Governor Leavitt or Governor Kempthorne or whoever gets the nomination for that Cabinet position, 'Understand what you are walking into,' " said the Senate majority chief deputy whip, Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah. "This is the time of the long knives."

We can only hope the Dems are this aggressive, and with Leavitt, they have plenty of material to work with:
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.

The Legacy Highway project was shut down by the courts.

(Also here. And here.)

Posted August 12, 2003 12:00 AM


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