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: New EPA nomination


Dble Haul
08-18-2003, 01:53 PM
FWIW....anyone out there have any further info on this guy, aside from what's provided here in this article?

Bush Picks Utah Governor to Head EPA
Tue Aug 12,10:25 AM ET Add Top Stories - Reuters to My Yahoo!

By Steve Holland

AURORA, Colo. (Reuters) - President Bush (news - web sites) on Monday picked Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency (news - web sites), a nomination that immediately drew fire from a key Democrat and environmental groups.


Bush made the announcement as he arrived in the Denver area for a campaign fund-raising event. He called Leavitt, in his third term, a "trusted friend and a capable executive" and said he would be a "fine addition to my administration."


"Mike Leavitt will come to the EPA with a strong environmental record and a strong desire to improve on what has taken place during the last three decades," Bush said with Leavitt at his side.


Leavitt, a Republican, would succeed former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman (news - web sites), who resigned as EPA administrator in May after a tenure in which she found herself frequently at odds with more conservative members of the Bush administration.


Senate confirmation hearings are expected to be held soon after Congress returns from its August recess.


Leavitt said he regretted giving up "the service of a decade to a state I love and to people I love."


"But I may do so knowing that the air is cleaner than when I arrived, that the water is more pure, that the land is better cared for, and that the people are more safe," he said.


LIEBERMAN ATTACKS BUSH RECORD


Sen. Joseph Lieberman (news, bio, voting record), a Connecticut Democrat and presidential contender, wasted little time using the nomination to attack Bush's environmental record.


Lieberman said that the Bush administration has logged "the worst environmental record in history," and pledged a tough confirmation hearing for Leavitt.


Environmental groups immediately criticized Leavitt for past public statements where he called for more federal environmental regulation to be ceded to states.


"His philosophy on all these is: less regulation, no matter what the cost to public health and the environment," said Philip Clapp, president of the National Environmental Trust. "I can't think of too many governors more hostile to government regulations than Mike Leavitt."


Doug Scott, policy director of the Campaign for America's Wilderness, was disappointed.


He said Leavitt is most recently known for "cutting back-door deals and settlements with the Interior Department that abandoned protections for 6 million acres of wilderness-quality lands in his state and placed tens of millions of acres of such lands across the West on a silver platter for development interests."


"Governor Leavitt's poor record on wilderness protections in his home state does not bode well for the American people, who believe they should have a voice in how their environment is protected," he said.


A White House statement drew a different picture of Leavitt. It said he has led Utah and other western states to significant environmental improvements through leadership, consensus building and partnerships.


"Today, Utah meets all federal air quality standards," it said. "This was not the case at the beginning of the Leavitt administration. Utah also has the nation's cleanest watersheds, and they have improved significantly during his tenure."

Eddie
08-18-2003, 02:53 PM
Leavitt will be perfect. Whitman seemed to be too concerned with her reputation. In this time of turmoil, we need team players. The mission of the EPA is past. The environment has been saved. It is time to scrap clean air and water regs., so we can compete with countries that have no environmental regulations. Sure Canada has alot of trees, but we can go toe to toe with any country if only the enviro-nazis would let us at the forests. Most people will never set foot in a Natl. forrest (or park for that matter).
We've got to get at that oil in Alaska befor a Democrat gets re-elected!
While I'm on a tear, I say good riddance to Colen Powell too. We need team players.

inland
08-18-2003, 03:30 PM
DH,

After living with him for the past 10 year, all I can add is that we are in for some interesting times!!! All of the listed accusations do have merit.

Who are they trying to kid??? We have some of the worst air quality conditions in the US come winter when the inversions settle in over the wasatch front, which is the place where 75% of the population resides. You are better off living in SoCal.

William

BobK
08-18-2003, 07:17 PM
Here's the story. The left will villify him, and the right will praise him. Let's be truthful - all we can do is see what he does, then make up our OWN minds.

That's the only FAIR way to do it.

BobK:)

Eddie
08-18-2003, 08:59 PM
to judge a man by what he has done and what he stands for.

Mean Mr Mustard
08-28-2003, 04:01 AM
And so yesterday the Bush administration, with an EPA endorsement, effectively gutted the Clear Air Act.

Sure has been a hot summer for the Puget Sound region. Seattle is in the process of shattering its record for consecutive days with temps 70 degrees plus. I hear Norway has been unusually warm. Idaho was hotter than hell in late July into early August. And France, ...well we all know how bad it got there.

So now we get to look forward to more pollutants, more greenhouse gasses.

Hey George, you might not have to walk in our shoes and you might not have to eat our food but you will still have to breathe the same air you moron!

Greenhouse gasses - Is this what they meant with the greening of America?

mmm

juro
08-28-2003, 08:01 AM
This scares the crap out of me... let's not forget James Watt, Ronnie Raygun's Secretary of the Interior. He did step foot into a National Park once, to look at the old growth in the Olympic Forest. He decided that the last 3% needed to come down, but luckily it was partially stopped by people who care.

Remember the spotted owl? It forced timber companies to reduce harvest, right? It forced working americans to starve, right? The truth is that annual harvest levels never declined through the ESA war, in fact they increased steadily. The real problem starving businesses was that timber conglomerates who have many hands in their pockets from the right side of capitol hill changed their business model to exporting raw logs overseas instead of dealing with local mills and manufacturers of goods. There is reportedly enough northwest timber buried in salt bogs in Asia that it would take 40 years to consume the reserve at current production rates. Why don't we prohibit that and export finished goods, putting local businesses hard at work utilizing that timber? FYI - much of the finished product from that wood is re-imported to North America. Lose-lose, unless you are a big timber executive. The little guy get shafted.

Watt also supported a proprosal to strip mine Yellowstone.

Regardless of your political position compare his record with Babbitt's - small victories are more meaningful to me, someday before I die I will walk the upper Elwha and see a steelhead above the illegal dam site. Thank you Bruce, may the dream come true.

It's dubious at best that anyone Bush appoints has any genuine interest in protecting natural resources. The agenda is clearly to figure out ways to exploit what we have without damaging Jr's re-election campaign plans, which at this point are looking v-e-r-y bleak.

.01

OC
08-28-2003, 04:00 PM
Wow!

Ya got to wonder what right wing conserative fly fishermen think about when they are fly fishing? From what I've read here maybe they think of dredging this beautiful river for gold, how can I buy into it and with Bush in charge profit sharing will continue to increase. No I must be wrong they would never think that for their home rivers but someone elses river one that he will never fish who cares.

Americans are so possesed with profit first, truely profit is the American God. Mr. Leavett is there for one reason and that is to continue to undo all that has taken place on the enviro front from Nixon on. Why simply increased profit for about one percent of the American population.

JimW
08-28-2003, 04:18 PM
Let's see, one of the first things Bush did when he got in was raise the allowable levels of arsenic in drinking water. Search the net for Bush Arsenic :eyecrazy:
Given that alone, if Bush picked this guy it's not just the little woodland creatures that are in trouble, it's our children.

:confused:

Eddie
08-28-2003, 08:02 PM
The most amazing thing to me is that I suspect that most sportsmen support the GOP and Bush. It seems that easy acces to guns are more important to hunters than the land they hunt and fish on. Weird priorities.
The current backlash against environmentalists is scary.

flytyer
08-28-2003, 11:11 PM
At the ristk of being labeled a "right-wing wacko", I must jump in here.

First of all Bush did not raise the permissible level of arsenic in drinking water, all he did was left it the level it was at for the last 20 years, despite all the b.s. on various internet sites to the contrary. The prior administration was considering making a huge change in the amount of allowable aresenic in drinking. One that would have made most spring water (including Perrie) no longer suitable for consumption by people in the U.S. In other words, it is very disingenuous of people to claim Bush made our water less safe.

Second, the democratic governors of Oregon and Washington encourqged the exporting of timber to Asia by the timber companies. There was a lot of timber sent that was cut on state timber lands in each of these two states. And both state's governors and the democratic state land managers in both states opposed any federal restrictions on the exporting of raw timber. Something about restricting raw timber exports having a negative impact of the economy of rural Washington and Oregon.

Third, the large timber companies were strangely silent on the spotted owl. They had cut most of the harvestable timber from their own timber lands and sent it oversees as raw timber and this provided a very nice reason to the mill workers and timber workers who lost their jobs over the lack of timber. Many of the timber companies created wholely-owned subsidaries to seperate their timber lands from their mills. This let it them lose money on paper in the outdated mills, close the mills without government opposition, get government loans and tax consessions to build a new mill in another town, and get rather large tax write-offs for the supposed losses that resulted from "buying" timber at high, market prices from what used to be one large company before the creation of the "wholely-owned subsidaries. And this move to wholely-owned subsidaries was done with the blessing of the administration in power during the 1990's.

Fourth, the Bush administration has simply made a change that allows older, out-dated powerplants and manufacturing facilities to update the equipment in the plants without having to meet the latest, state-of-the-art polution control equipment at the same time. This means that if a turbine wears out (of course we know they never do) the power company can replace the old ones with newer, more efficient ones (instead of the older design it had been using) without also having to install the latest polution control technology as well. The net result, the air is not polluted anymore than it was and the plant can produce more power with the same amount of pollution as before. This has the net effect of more energy with the same pollution level. This is hardly increasing the amount of air pollution.

Let us not forget that the U.S. has the most stringent air and water pollution standards in the world and that they were implimented during Tricky Dick's administration, including the creation of the EPA.

Fifth, several folks in the forum condemned the use of a wind power farm in Mass. This is a non-polluting source of energy that has been in use for quite a while in Mont. Why is it not OK to have it on a coastal island in Mass.? What better way to be environmentally friendly than to use non-polluting, and non-river damming methods to produce power?

dewey
08-29-2003, 12:24 AM
I f we don't get this bozo out of the White House we're not going to be fishing or hunting much longer.
Bush, and the current juggernaut of bad-business that props him up represent the biggest threat to sportsmen and those who care about wild places in several generations.
If this isn't painfully obvious, then you aren't paying attention.

Howard Dean is a chance for us Sportsmen. Listen to him sometime.

We have to get together on this. Now.

loco_alto
08-29-2003, 01:19 AM
flytyer -

A status quo on pollution in a time with an increasingly enlightened and populated planet IS effectively going backwards. That's like acknowledging that dams kill salmon, but the dams won't kill any MORE salmon this year than they did last year, so dams are OK.

Absolutely bogus logic. If arsenic levels need to be reduced, and the National Academy of Sciences has concluded as such, then inaction and a call for more study (Bush plan) is tantamount to a reversal.

If greenhouse gas emissions need to reduced (and they do), and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has concluded as such, then inaction and a call for more study (Bush plan) is tantamount to a reversal.

Finally, your statement that the US has the most stringent water and air pollution laws in the world needs some teeth. Consider the Environmental Sustainability Index, which ranks the US pretty far down the list:

http://www.ciesin.org/indicators/ESI/rank.html

Richard Nixon - he was okay on many fronts (foreign relations, environment), and clearly terrible on others. The Endangered Species Act, despite its flaws (nothings perfect) was enacted under his watch. To even insinuate that the current administration is neutral or "status quo" on the environment is an absolute joke. Such inaction in the face of obvious facts is irresponsible, wrong, and an affront to the people of the USA and the entire world.

juro
08-29-2003, 01:41 AM
Originally posted by flytyer
Fifth, several folks in the forum condemned the use of a wind power farm in Mass. This is a non-polluting source of energy that has been in use for quite a while in Mont. Why is it not OK to have it on a coastal island in Mass.? What better way to be environmentally friendly than to use non-polluting, and non-river damming methods to produce power?

I had several comments on 1-4 but this one's all mine ;)

You are misinformed, the proposal for this private venture is not to put the windmills on an island, it's to put them IN THE WATER over several square miles of area in the middle of the sound in shifting sand shoals in the migratory paths of numerous fish and bird species in a fragile environ which is one of the last remaining somewhat pristine areas in the entire region. They may not emit smoke but they will corrode and leak lubricants, involve major construction projects in the water and habitat of millions if not billions of organisms, and worst of all it's hairbrained science fiction at it's best.

Putting the windmills on an island would be fine my me... in fact I proposed the government owned Otis Air Force Base, which is a massive land area closed to public access in one of the largest areas of the cape. If you were familiar with the area you might agree.

We know the power is meaningless anyway, it's only going to be sold into the grid for private gain. There is no power problem on the Cape today that the windmills will solve.

If anyone thinks the multi-year, big bucks construction will have no negative impact via pollutants and other damages to the Nantucket Sound ecosystem during and after construction they are dreaming. If anyone thinks these structures will last out there for any appreciable number of years, they are ignorant. The whole plan is ludicrous.

Put them on an island, yes please - not in the sound!

OC
08-29-2003, 10:58 AM
Those bumper stickers, "Sportsmen for Bush" are just that. Thank god that fly fishermen concern themselves with conservation issues first and the sportsmenship thing of this era down our list as why we participate in the outdoors. We may not get it right all the time as fly fishermen but our intent is good. We can be proud of that.

To say there will be less air pollution because of the rule changes or the same amount of air pollution is wrong. One must read the language carefully. The Bush administration says that pollution will stay under the current permit level and on that front he is most likely correct. But the majority of the 1700 power plants in this country are below that permit level now and by a fair amount. The rule change is so power companies can make changes that will pollute more than they do now but will increase profit for the companies. No they will not go over the current permit limitations which are artificially too high and have been from day one. Air pollution will go up as will profit.

As for the toughest air quality standards in the world I dought it. Are we not in the lowest 10% for the 30 or so first world countries? Of course there are 90 some odd countries who are not first world who can not afford to clean up their act so if you add us the wealthiest country in the world to the entire countries in the world we do rank high. Big deal, we still consume 25% of the world energy and it's that energy and lax standards to begin with that make the USA as one of the worlds top air polluters only behind China and Russia I'll bet.

Eddie
08-29-2003, 11:03 AM
47% of the voters, voted for this kind of policy. That is almost a majority. Like it or not, pollution and the environment is not a big deal to many.
As for industry, if they went out of business every time regs. were tightened up, they would have been gone long ago.

flytyer
08-29-2003, 02:47 PM
Juro,

You are correct, based upon the information you provided on the wind farm, I was mis-informed. The news media had the wind farm being located on the island. Thnaks for clearing it up for me, and I must say that I too am opposed to placing the wind towers in the bay.

OC,

Exactly my point with saying that there will be no net increase in pollution by the power companies. If the total emitted is within the current permit levels and there is more power produced, there is no net gain in pollution while more power is being produced. And this is accomplished at less cost (and with smaller or no rate increases to consumers) than if new plants were built or the older existing ones had to meet the newer more stingent levels.

loco_alto,

There has been no determination that lowering the aresenic levels in drinking water would make the water any more safe for us than leaving them where they have been. And, it does not make sense to make the level so low that the vast majority of bottled spring water (which we are told is the purest and best for us since it has none of thos nasty chemicals added to purify it that our water treatment plants must add) would not be able to meet the standard.

Regarding so-called green-house gasses, there has been no conclusive or any proof offered by the proponents of reducing them that any global warming has occured. Local, short-lived increases in temperature have been offered as proof that it is happening, and that is not science, it is wishful thinking or begging the issue. Interestingly, these so-called climate changes have been found to be within normal climate fluctuations here in the U.S. that occur over a 50 to 130 year cycle. And, as is well known, a single, small volcanic eruption puts as much green-houee gas into the atmoshpere as 50 years worth of human activity. There have been quite a few very large vocanic eruptions and a lot of small ones in the last 20 years.

OC
08-29-2003, 03:46 PM
Sorry my good friend Flytyer there will be more gross air pollution than there is now it just will not go over the permit limits. If you watched the Leher report a couple nights ago the head of air pollution for the EPA even addmitted such after continuously saying that the new standards will have no effect on power companies going over the permitt standard. The question to him would there be more air pollution he just used the permit value as his answer untill he could no longer worm his way out of it and said that pollution would go up but not to worry because it would not exceed permit standards. You and I are both in the enviro work world you know as well as me how the game is played. Double speak, double speak. If the nation wide permit total for air pollution is 200 million tons per year and we are currently at 160 million tons per year and after a couple of years air pollution is 190 million tons then it went up. I don't care about the increase in power I care that we have less air pollution that destroys the lakes on the East coast and effects so many peoples health nation wide.
Have a good weekend and see you soon on the river.
OC

loco_alto
08-29-2003, 03:52 PM
flytyer - the science is clear on these issues

I won't try to convince someone who considers a marketing ploy for "clean bottled water" as a substitute for scientific study

As someone who has been involved with developing such reports, I can assure that there is no conspiracy or ulterior motive behind it. Public opinion and political self-interest are vastly more squishy than the facts on these issues.

flytyer
08-29-2003, 08:33 PM
OC,

Yes, I will concede this is the case. However, our country uses a lot more power today than it did just 10 years ago due to the information explotion known as the internet. And in that time there has not been much in the way of new power getting on-line. The fact is we need to have some more power or many more areas of the country are going to experience the "brown outs" and outright loss of power that happened in CA 2 years ago. The other alternative is for all of us who use technology to use it a lot less, and I don't see that as very viable.

My fantasy is that power would be produced only through non-polluting methods and means and do so without the use of power dams and their riverine destructiveness. Perhaps before I leave this world this will happen.

loco_alto,

I am not aware of any study that has been done on the need to lower arsenic levels in drinking water. I am aware that some folks decided that if you lower the allowable level of arsenic, it is a good thing without having done any study to back up the claim that it is too high now. This is not science. The cost of meeting this much lower level is very high though. And virtually every town, city, municipality, etc. in the U.S. would have to invest large chunks of change to meet it. And after doing so, is there really any benefit?

loco_alto
08-29-2003, 08:56 PM
A summary of the NAS report is available here:

http://www.nap.edu/execsumm/0309063337.html

In support of your point:

"No human studies of sufficient statistical power or scope have examined whether consumption of arsenic in drinking water at the current MCL results in an increased incidence of cancer or noncancer effects. Therefore, the subcommittee's characterization of risks at the current MCL is based on observed epidemiological findings, experimental data on the mode of action of arsenic, and available information on the variations in human susceptibility."

Yet, the committee had to draw a conclusion. They used the available evidence from human and cellular based studies to do so conclude:

"On the basis of its review of epidemiological findings, experimental data on the mode of action of arsenic, and available information on the variations in human susceptibility, it is the subcommittee's consensus that the current EPA MCL for arsenic in drinking water of 50 g/L does not achieve EPA's goal for public-health protection and, therefore, requires downward revision as promptly as possible."


The fact that the "perfect" study wasn't available doesn't invalidate their conclusion. Sometimes you just put 1 + 1 together to conclude the obvious. Their recommendation to revise downward as promptly as possible reinforces this.

juro
08-29-2003, 10:31 PM
Flytyer,

Just wanted to say all this hoopla has nothing to do with friendships, in fact it's our freindship that let's us debate such issues so vigorously without fear of taking each other too seriously!

Peace,
Juro

flytyer
08-29-2003, 11:59 PM
Juro,

I coudn't have said it any better. And it is also how information is disseminated in a fashion comprised of good form and without put-downs. The very reasons I have become associated with this forum and the fine folks who participate in it.

loco_alto,

Many folks do not not what the subcommittee based its recommendation on for lowering the arsenic levels. However, I take exception to their conclusion that despite the fact that there are zero, nadda, no studies that show there is an increased incidence of cancerous or non-cancerous effects, they decided that the levels should be reduced anyway. And they based this upon how arsenic is absorbed and possibly stored in the human body, observed epidemiological findings (these were with laboratory mice, a species that is remarkably susceptable to cancer), and available information on the variation in the susceptibility of humans to arsenic.

Hmmmmm.... I had several professors who call conclusion of this sort wishful thinking at best and begging the issue at worst since there is no evidence to back the conclusion.

Mean Mr Mustard
08-30-2003, 12:19 AM
I, too, believe pollution levels will increase as a result of this change in the Act.

As to the arsenic, is it naturally occuring or introduced by man to facilitate their particular ore extraction method?

mmm

BobK
08-30-2003, 12:22 AM
For what it's worth, arsenic is a naturally occurring element, and is found universally occurring naturally in ground water in low levels. Sounds like we are trying to be "too safe" at times.

This is a "POOR CHOICE" for trying to bash the current administration for all of the nonscientists out there trying to make a point.

Also keep in mind that most metals also are naturally occurring (e.g. mercury, etc.) and these also occur in water to varying degrees just from rainfall/ground water coming in contact with ores everytime it rains. Virtually everything has some solubility, that's why we studied "solubility product constants" in college.

ALL pollution is not man-made, contrary to popular opinion.

BobK:smokin:

loco_alto
08-30-2003, 12:42 AM
Flytyer - not true.

The NAS report used studies of humans to draw their conclusions. Humans in Taiwan, Chile and Argentina. The resulting effects are primarily bladder and lung cancer. nasty.

The only piece of the puzzle that is missing is data from arsenic levels equivalent to the US drinking water standard. That data doesn't exist.

So, to conclude something about these lower exposure levels, NAS considered studies of non-human subjects. These studies show that arsenic exposure at the US standard has ill effects. These ill effects are entirely consistent with studies done on humans at higher exposure levels. Put 1+1 together.

flytyer
08-30-2003, 06:35 PM
As Bob K put it, "arsenic .... is found universally occurring naturally in ground water in low levels".

Must be the new math I've been hearing math professors talking about the last few years where the operations you use to get the answer are more important than being correct. Let's see: People exposed to elevated levels or arsenic (Taiwan, Argentina, Chile) have higher cancer rates (1) + no data showing that current standards also cause increased cancer rates (0) = a need to make the acceptable level much lower because it has to be better (2). Or (1+0=2) Hmmmmm........ Very interesting.

Eddie
08-30-2003, 06:47 PM
What about being conservative when it comes to the the health of our children, and our natural resources? I would rather have stringent levels and raise them if the science alows it. The burden of proof is being forced on the wrong side of the issue. Conservatives seem wreckless.