Senate Confirms Utah Governor Mike Leavitt to Head EPA

Date: October 21, 2003

Source: News Room

The Senate confirmed Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency by a substantial margin of 88-8. Ironically, this concludes a 4-month vacancy forced by Senate democrats determined to block the nomination on the grounds that President Bush was not serious about the environment. At one point, democrats even boycotted an important committee meeting chaired by Sen. James Inhofe, R-OK., of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-NJ, was the most critical, at one point declaring "Despite his commentary about balance and stewardship, Gov. Leavitt's record ... reveals a disturbing tendency to place shortsighted economic gain of regulated industries above protecting the long-term health of the public." Sen. Hillary Clinton was also a vocal opponent, demanding that the EPA answer for omissions in its report of contaminates at Ground Zero in New York. The nominee was helped by his three terms as governor, during which he gained a reputation as an affable and competent manager and molded alliances among Senate Democrats who are Westerners or former governors.
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