New EPA nomination
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."