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Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Help Wanted: Fox to Guard Henhouse
The Bushies are apparently making Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne their number one choice to replace Kristie Whitman as EPA administrator:

Kempthorne received a near-zero rating from the League of Conservation Voters during his one term as a senator (1993 through 1998), but environmental advocates said his Senate background would probably help ease his confirmation process.

"Gov. Kempthorne is a very nice, personable and noncombative person, which are some of the features the Bush administration is looking for and which will help in confirmation," said Roger Singer, Idaho chapter director of the Sierra Club. "But his record on environmental issues is quite abysmal."

Kempthorne, as governor, senator and former mayor of Boise, has frequently raised the ire of advocacy groups because of his desire to reduce the role of the federal government -- and EPA -- in environmental policy, and replace it with state and local authority. This was a prevailing theme during his Senate years, when he championed changes to laws on safe drinking water and unfunded mandates, and has carried over in his opposition to the EPA's effort to expand a Superfund cleanup site at Idaho's Coeur d'Alene Lake.

Snider said Kempthorne sought an environmental policy that strikes a "balance between pollution-free air and water and having a job for your family."

Philip Clapp, president of the National Environmental Trust, said, "That's nothing more than spin. Governor Kempthorne has supported the chemical industry, the oil industry, the timber industry and the utility industry against virtually every environmental proposal since 1993. That's not balance."
-- Washington Post.