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[greenyes] Where Is the Outrage?
    Please note Sen. Lieberman's claim at the end of this article below that
EPA deliberately lied to a Senate Committee with regard to the effect of the
Administration's proposed New Source Review changes on pending lawsuits
against utilities which had upgraded their power plants without compliance
to new source standards.

    Does anyone have any information that would provide facts to show

    If not, this would seem to rank with EPA Acting Administrator Marianne
Lamont Horinko's response to last month's GAO report alleging that, at the
White House's direction, the agency lied to the citizens of NYC following
9/11 about the seriousness of air pollution impacts from the World Trade
Center collapse on people's health. Ms. Horinko was reported to have said
that not only did she not deny the charge, but she would have done it again
on grounds of national security.

    She did not, however, amplify how misleading the residents and workers
in the area that the air was safe -- when it did not have any information to
support the statement -- bore on national security.

    Is it her contention that al Queda would have given up the ghost if they
thought that their actions only succeeding in directly killing 3,000 people
but failed to kill thousands more indirectly over time from the resulting
air pollution? Or, alternatively, did she believe that our national security
depended upon deceiving thousands of this country's citizens to quickly
return to work into an area where their health could be seriously affected,
rather than waiting a few more days or weeks until air quality improved --
that a few days of work lost by in one section of one city today was more
important than tens or hundreds of premature cancer deaths later? Or did she
not have anything specific in mind other than to see if anyone would object
to their health being treated with utter contempt by public officials.

    Her response baffles me unless she is so immersed in the throes of the
political fray to have become utterly oblivious to the impact of her
decisions on real peoples' lives. Does she not number herself as a member of
the human race that entails some elemental obligation to the well being of
our fellow passengers on this planet?  Is virtually everything reduced to
the lowest level of the most crassest politics?  Is nothing out of bounds?
What is happening to us as a country that is increasingly being submerged in
cynicism? Thirty years ago, those serving in President Nixon's
administration resigned over principle when asked to ratify that
administration's illegalities.  Today, the collective malfeasance of those
serving President Bush's political calculation barely gets noted.

    I have no knowledge of the extent to which the senators objecting to the
apparent lies by the leadership of EPA are based upon political
considerations, as Senator Voinovich rebuts, but I am glad that someone is
expressing outrage over this completely unacceptable pattern of deceit by an
agency that is legally obligated to be dedicated to protecting public health
and the environment.  I only wonder if they will continue to do so without
further expression of public outrage to sustain their opposition.

    It is one thing for these terrible deceptions to occur.  That is bad
enough for it shows rot in our democratic institutions.  But, if we as the
informed public do not rise up and express outrage so that those things can
be righted, then we can truly trace our inevitable decline as a functioning
democratic society from our inaction today, all punctuated and wrapped in a
ribbon by the Patriot Act.

    I have to agree with the Senators objecting to the appointment of Mr.
Leavitt that until he commits to separate himself from these terrible
antecedents, he cannot be confirmed to serve.

    I urge everyone who shares these concerns to write in support to
Senators Clinton, Lieberman, Edwards, Kerry and Lautenberg, with copies to
their own Senators, and to write letters to the editor of their local

    Lastly, I would have to think that there are also thousands of dedicated
individuals working each day in EPA who are also devastated by what this
Administration is doing to the institution in one of the most naked
expressions of raw political power by a president and those who serve under
him.  If they do not hear objections from the affected public, just imagine
what their disillusionment will lead to in future agency endeavors when
their energies are needed to protect the environment.

Peter Anderson
4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
Madison, WI 53705
Ph:    (608) 231-1100
Fax:   (608) 233-0011
Cell    (608) 438-9062
email: anderson@no.address

NEW YORK TIMES -10/16/03

Committee Approves E.P.A. Nominee, Setting Up Floor Fight

WASHINGTON, Oct. 15 - A Senate committee on Wednesday approved the
nomination of Gov. Michael O. Leavitt of Utah, the administration's choice
to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

    The panel voted two weeks after its last scheduled meeting lacked a
quorum because of a boycott by Democrats.

    Setting up a confirmation fight on the Senate floor, the Environment and
Public Works Committee approved Mr. Leavitt's nomination, 16 to 2, with one
senator not voting. Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Joseph
I. Lieberman of Connecticut, both Democrats, voted no.

    Although the senators who boycotted the previous meeting have repeatedly
emphasized that they hold Mr. Leavitt in high personal regard, his
confirmation has become a forum for the Democrats' frustrations toward the
administration's environmental record.

    Five Democrats have promised to keep Mr. Leavitt's nomination from going
to the floor until the administration is more forthcoming in answering
questions on environmental issues. They are Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Lieberman and
Senators John Edwards of North Carolina, John Kerry of Massachusetts and
Frank R. Lautenberg of New Jersey.

    At the session on Wednesday, Republicans said several critics were
Democratic presidential hopefuls and were thus motivated by politics.

    Mr. Lieberman has questioned the White House's effort to modify the
sections of the Clean Air Act on coal-burning power plants. Environmental
groups contend that the administration has tried to open the loopholes for
the energy industry and that the administration had backed away from
vigorously enforcing the law against utilities that knowingly violated the

    In a memorandum from May 2001 made public on Wednesday, the departing
environmental administrator, Christie Whitman, wrote to Vice President Dick
Cheney that if the administration made commitments on changing the rules to
install mandatory pollution controls or promised more extensive
modifications to the Clean Act Air, "settlements will likely slow down or

    "It will also be counterproductive," Ms. Whitman said. "We will pay a
terrible political price if we undercut or walk away from the enforcement
cases. It will be hard to refute the charge that we are deciding not to
enforce the Clean Air Act."
In July 2002, the assistant administrator who oversees air quality, Jeffrey
R. Holmstead, testified before Congress, "We do not believe these changes
will have a negative impact on the enforcement cases."

    Mr. Lieberman said: "This memo illustrates clearly that the Bush
administration knew that environmental rollbacks would hamper enforcement of
the Clean Air Act. Yet they ignored these consequences and misled a Senate
committee about them."
Peter Anderson
4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
Madison, WI 53705
Ph:    (608) 231-1100
Fax:   (608) 233-0011
Cell    (608) 438-9062
email: anderson@no.address

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