Utah Governor Leavitt, with his "Enlibra" fake-out,
is headed to Washington to take over the Environmental Protection Agency.
And that’s not a good thing.
Though enlibra sounds like some ancient principle derived
from Caesar Augustus, its origins can be traced to a meeting a few years
ago in the Utah governor’s office. According to one former staffer who
the meeting, Leavitt came into the room and said, “Let’s invent a word.
Let’s invent a word that means balance and reasonableness in environmental
some informal discussions, the result was enlibra — the type of trendy
term that could promise a better night’s sleep, better sex or, in this
case, a “balanced” environmental
policy. It may be the first manufactured political trademark.
that the phrases “dirty air for higher corporate
profits” or “fewer trees mean more roads” were not instant sellers. However,
calling for enlibra was something that few could contest — or understand,
for that matter. If anyone objected, Leavitt would simply respond with
an element of sympathy that they simply did not understand enlibra. They
were “unenlibrated.” [Jonathan Turley, L. A. Times]
And another story:
Larry Young, the executive director of the Southern Utah
Wilderness Alliance, said the governor has never been willing to use enlibra
to resolve the perennial dispute over Utah wilderness. “He invites people
to the table who he knows are going to agree with the decisions he’s going
to reach and calls everyone else an extremist,” Young
This administration did not have a great record on the environment even before
Leavitt, as in this story from the West
THE U.S. Department of the Interior wants to provide coal operators
permitting" for mountaintop removal mining, new government records
Scientific studies … have confirmed that without
much stronger restrictions, mountaintop removal will destroy huge portions
of Appalachian forests and streams.
Mountaintop [removal] mining operations in the Appalachian coalfields involve
fundamental changes to the region’s landscape and terrestrial wildlife habitats," the
draft [Environmental Impact Statement] study concluded. "With the
increasing size of these operations, a single permit may involve changing
… On Friday, the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved a final
rule that helps to legalize valley fills.
I doubt this appointment is going to improve things.