Monday, April 02, 2007

Political Push ... or ... Putz's Putsch?

posted by The Sailor @ 8:41 PM Permalink

Bush Again Pushes 3 Nominees Seen as Pro-Industry

The president could skirt the Senate by using recess appointments

The White House has renominated three people for top jobs affecting the environment who were previously blocked in Congress because of their pro-industry views.According to industry lobbyists and Republican aides in Congress, Bush intends to skirt the Senate approval process if necessary by making recess appointments to put the three nominees in the posts.

All three have ties to industries that face costly Environmental Protection Agency restrictions, and all three have previously bypassed or questioned the EPA's scientific process.

They are William Wehrum, who would head the air office of the EPA; Alex A. Beehler, chosen to be the EPA's inspector general; and Susan Dudley, who would become White House regulations chief.
Wehrum, a former lawyer for the chemical, utility and auto industries, was counsel to the EPA's air office when controversy erupted over the agency's new standard for power-plant mercury emissions. The mercury rule contained paragraphs lifted verbatim from a memo by Latham & Watkins, Wehrum's former law firm, which represented utility companies affected by the rule.

The agency's inspector general denounced the effort, saying it relied on industry input over science.
So what does Bush do when the IG tells the truth!? Yep, replace the IG with an industry crony:
To replace the retired inspector general who criticized the EPA's work on the mercury rule, the administration has recommended Beehler, a Pentagon official and former executive for Koch Industries, a private oil and chemical conglomerate based in Wichita, Kan.

The inspector general independently oversees EPA management, conducting audits and investigations. The EPA said last month that it would eliminate 30 staffers from the inspector general's office.

Hired as the Pentagon's No. 2 environment manager in 2004, Beehler was involved in an ongoing effort to influence EPA consideration of a health standard for perchlorate, a rocket fuel component, according to Defense Department documents.
Dudley headed a free-market think tank - the Mercatus Center at George Mason University - that is supported in part by Koch Industries, whose chairman sits on the board.
The White House declined a request to interview her.


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