A Dirty Dozen
(Page 2 of 4)
4. JEFFREY HOLMSTEAD, assistant EPA administrator for air quality. Previously a lobbyist with the firm of Latham & Watkins, Holmstead represented electric utilities trying to fight air pollution restrictions, and he represented the Farm Bureau conglomerate in its fights against pesticide controls. Now inside, he's a key player pushing Bush's Clear Skies initiative, which will allow a 520 percent increase in toxic mercury pollution, a 225 percent jump in carbon dioxide pollution (a global warming contaminant), and a delay in the enforcement of smog and soot pollution until 2016. In charge of writing a new rule to limit mercury poisoning of children by electric power plants, Holmstead embraced a watered-down rule that essentially was written by his old lobbying firm of Latham & Watkins.
5. WILLIAM HORN, chairman of the fish and wildlife commission. In charge of charting policies governing America's priceless National Wildlife Refuge System, Horn's background is not as wildlife protector, but as a corporate lobbyist representing interests wanting to exploit our public refuges for their profit. He has lobbied for Florida Power & Light, Yukon Pacific Corporation (which wants to build a gas pipeline from Alaska's North Slope to the port of Valdez, then export the gas to Asia), and the Nuclear Energy Institute. For a hint about his attitude toward preserving pristine wildlife areas, note that he has been the lead attorney for such outfits as the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association, New Jersey Beach Buggy Association, and Sun Valley HeliSki company.
6. WILLIAM G. MYERS III, solicitor of the Interior Department. The government's top lawyer for cases involving exploitation of our public lands by mining and agribusiness corporations, Myers previously was a lawyer and lobbyist representing mining and agribusiness corporations. At interior, he has pushed for new rules to allow more cattle grazing, to limit endangered species protections, to require fewer environmental impact statements for the lands under his stewardship, and to open public lands in five Western States to oil drilling. Myers is under investigation by ethics officials for meeting with his former corporate clients, despite having signed a conflict-of-interest agreement to avoid such contacts. Meanwhile, George W has nominated this possible law violator to be a federal appeals judge.
7. BENNETT RALEY, assistant interior secretary for water. A longtime, extremist "corporate rights" advocate who previously lobbied to kill our nation's Clean Water Act, Raley now is the top official in charge of water issues at the interior department. In 2002, he teamed up with Karl Rove in a flagrant political maneuver to provide extra water for agribusiness from a federal water project in eastern Washington, even though agency scientists warned that this would be disastrous for wild salmon under federal protections in the Klamath River. Career agency professionals were forced to bow to White House political pressure, and thousands of fish died. When responsible officials tried to divert some of the Klamath basin water back to the endangered salmon populations, Raley again waved in Rove to apply top-heavy political pressure and back them off.