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EPA: Love it or Leavitt!

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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
attended
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
debate.” After
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.
Leavitt found
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
principles
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
said.

This administration did not have a great record on the environment even before
Leavitt, as in this story from the West
Virgian Gazette
:

THE U.S. Department of the Interior wants to provide coal operators
with "one-stop
permitting" for mountaintop removal mining, new government records
reveal.
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
thousands of
acres
of hardwood
forest
into grassland.
… 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.

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About Hal

  • Eric Olsen

    Thanks Hal! I didn’t know what the hell that word meant. The administration’s record on the environment is pathetic, probably its weakest area, and it doesn’t sound like it’s going to get better, you’re right.

  • http://www.tude.com/ Hal Pawluk

    What it really means is b-s-s-c-am (kind of like getting into Iraq :-)

    And it seems like Utah in particular “Hatches” a lot of interesting things, like Orrin’s “Schwarzenmendment”, and land swaps where the state gets property worth much more than the feds get (from the Casper, Wyoming Star-Tribune 7/25/2003):

    A land swap pushed by Utah officials would have shortchanged the federal government had concerns from whistleblowers not stopped the deal, the Interior Department’s inspector general concluded in a report obtained Wednesday.
    The report by investigator Jack E. Hawkins found that Interior Department officials negotiated away valuable resources, did not properly appraise land and that the department’s chief negotiator ”made efforts to conceal the actual results of the negotiations from department decision-makers and from the United States Congress.”
    As a result of the investigation, the Interior Department and Gov. Mike Leavitt agreed to terminate the agreement and Interior Secretary Gale Norton ordered a working group already investigating disparities in other land exchanges to include the Utah deal in its review.
    The inspector general’s report, obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday, also chastised Tom Fulton, the former deputy assistant secretary for Lands and Minerals Management, for providing misleading information to Congress and Interior Department officials about the deal.
    But Bureau of Land Management appraiser Kent Wilkinson and other BLM whistleblowers told The Associated Press a year ago that the land was not appropriately appraised and if the deal went through it could cost federal taxpayers as much as $116.7 million in valuable mineral revenues.

  • Eric Olsen

    yes, and I believe there is a peculiar religion based there as well