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[GreenYes] Hearings on Christie Whitman Nomination to EPA
H. JOSEF HEBERT, Associated Press Writer
Wednesday, January 17, 2001
Breaking News Sections

(01-17) 09:27 PST WASHINGTON (AP) -- New Jersey 
Gov. Christie Whitman
promised a ``a strong federal role'' on 
environmental protection, but said
Wednesday she planned to review a string of new 
Clinton administration
regulations if approved as head of the 
Environmental Protection Agency.

Whitman received a warm reception from both 
Republicans and Democrats at a
Senate hearing on her nomination by 
President-elect Bush to be the
government's top environmental official.

But several Democratic senators expressed concern

that the new
administration might roll back environmental 
rules enacted in recent months,
including one imposing tougher pollution controls

on big trucks and a
requirement for nearly sulfur-free diesel fuel.

She said she had ``an obligation to review all 
the rules'' pushed through in
recent months. ``We will do that in this case,'' 
she said when asked about
the truck and diesel fuel regulations issued by 
the EPA just before
Christmas. The petroleum industry has called the 
new diesel requirements too
costly and perhaps impossible to meet without 
causing fuel shortages.

Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., said he hoped 
Whitman ``will not abandon and
vigorously enforce'' the new truck and diesel 
standards. He said reductions
in truck pollution ``are critically needed'' and 
had been considered and
debated for years.

In remarks before the Environment and Natural 
Resources Committee, which is
considering her nomination, Whitman called for a 
``new era of cooperation''
among state and federal governments, business and

advocates in protecting
the environment.

``Government cannot do it alone,'' she said.

Whitman said she plans to move ``beyond the 
command-and-control model of
mandates, regulations and litigation'' in 
pressing federal efforts to
protect the environment.

But she emphasized, ``We will maintain a strong 
federal role ... we will
continue to set high standards'' and not weaken 
enforcement of environmental

``We will offer the carrot first, but we will not

retire the stick,''
declared Whitman, who has been criticized by some

environmentalists for
cutting state environmental enforcement programs 
in New Jersey.

Whitman's nomination was greeted with enthusiasm 
by members of both parties.
The senators in their remarks clearly assumed she

would be approved by the
Senate without any problems after Bush's 

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., who temporarily chairs 
the committee, opened the
hearing by inviting her to Nevada once she 
assumes her job at the EPA.
Whitman, an avid hiker, skier and lover of the 
outdoors, said she was eager
to ``visit some trout streams'' in Nevada and 
other states.

Sen. Robert Torricelli, D-N.J., who introduced 
Whitman, called her
nomination ``a very wise selection'' and noted 
that she comes from a state
that has one of the country's best coastal 
management programs and also the
largest number of Superfund toxic waste sites.

``She knows what works and doesn't work in the 
Superfund program,'' said

Whitman, 54, a moderate Republican, was asked 
about a broad range of
environmental issues from how she intended to 
deal with pollution flowing
into the Northeast from Midwest power plants to 
whether she will pursue an
EPA plan to remove PCBs from the Hudson River and

press steps to address
climate change.

She made no commitments on the specific issues, 
except to say she would
review recent EPA regulations.

``You're going to inherit a few problems,'' 
remarked Sen. James Inhofe,
R-Okla., who complained of ``out-of-control 
enforcement actions'' at the
current EPA, an agency which has been a target of

conservatives for much of the Clinton 

Whitman listed a string of what she said 
described as environmental
accomplishments during her seven years as New 
Jersey governor: a reduction
of air quality violations, a sharp cut in beach 
closing because pollution,
aggressive cleanup of industrial sites under the 
Superfund law, and a
commitment to preserve one million acres of open 
space by 2010.

Peter Anderson
4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
Madison, WI 53705
(608) 231-1100/Fax (608) 233-0011

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