At Whitman’s End?

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While rumors of an impending resignation by U.S. EPA Administrator Chritine Whitman have been running through the Capitol mill for some time now, they’ve been dismissed as unsubstantiated hearsay by many of the players involved. But as Eric Shaeffer told Grist Magazine recently, the evidence is too strong to ignore. And he should know: He recently walked out of his post as director of the EPA’s Office of Regulatory Enforcement in protest of the agency’s recent Bush-pandering. Whitman’s reasons, while likely to be less principled than practical, are essentially the same. She’s been under heavy fire from environmentalists for her approval of Bush’s eco-unfriendly platforms, like deregulated utilities, high levels of arsenic in drinking water, and the U.S. retreat from the Kyoto Protocol. What’s more, Whitman’s chief of staff Wileen McGinnis has already tendered her resignation, and Whitman has reportedly told the rest of her staff to start looking for new jobs. Schaeffer also relayed to Grist the names he’s been hearing as a possible replacement for Whitman, which includes Michigan Governor John Englar, who recently rallied to increase oil drilling beneath the Great Lakes. As Schaeffer says, “It won’t change who’s calling the shots. These guys get the Bush perspective.”

--Chuck Terhark

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