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[greenyes] New EPA Administrator


Isn¹t it pathetic that it is considered news that the EPA administrator will
take science into account in policymaking?

Bush: EPA chief will emphasize science
By John Heilprin, Associated Press Writer  |  May 23, 2005

WASHINGTON -- President Bush, in a rare visit to the Environmental
Protection Agency, pledged Monday that science would be at the heart of the
nation's air, water and land policies.

Bush attended a ceremonial swearing-in ceremony for Stephen Johnson, the
first career employee to take over the agency's reins. Johnson, a 24-year
EPA veteran, also is the first administrator with a science background.

"With this background, Steve will help us continue to place sound scientific
analysis at the heart of all major environmental decisions," Bush said at a
15-minute ceremony in which White House chief of staff Andy Card
administered the oath of office.

Johnson had already been sworn in and taken over as EPA administrator on May
2.

Environmentalists and some federal scientists have complained that the Bush
administration often puts politics ahead of science on issues such as global
warming, toxic chemicals, forest and energy policies and protections for
imperiled species. Some of Bush's core beliefs are that nature requires
intervention, market forces trump regulations, and environmental protections
are not possible without economic growth.

With the visit, Bush became the first president to visit EPA headquarters.
Bush, often at odds with environmentalists, used the occasion to plug his
agenda while calling Johnson "the right man" for the job.

"As Steve leads the EPA, he will maintain our common-sense approach of
collaborating with leaders and volunteers at the local level to find the
best solutions to meet our national goals," Bush said.

"We'll continue to vigorously enforce our environmental laws," the president
continued. "We'll encourage good stewardship of natural resources, and we
will focus on results."

Bush said one of Johnson's first big tasks was to persuade Congress to pass
the "Clear Skies" air pollution plan. In March, a Senate committee rejected
the bill. Opponents want limits on carbon dioxide, the chief "greenhouse"
gas scientists blame for global warming, but which Bush says is too costly
to regulate.

Johnson said he felt "great enthusiasm and profound optimism" for his
agency's work, but admitted being at a loss for words to express what his
new job felt like.

"As I prepared for today, I thought about how I felt when the president
asked me to lead EPA," he recounted. "Even after years of Latin, German,
scientific training, the only word I could think of was 'wow.' Wow."


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