- Jul 31, 2005
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
WASHINGTON - Six former heads of the
Environmental Protection Agency — five Republicans and one Democrat — accused the Bush administration Wednesday of neglecting global warming and other environmental problems.
"I don't think there's a commitment in this administration," said Bill Ruckelshaus, who was EPA's first administrator when the agency opened its doors in 1970 under President Nixon and headed it again under President Reagan in the 1980s.
Russell Train, who succeeded Ruckelshaus in the Nixon and Ford administrations, said slowing the growth of "greenhouse" gases isn't enough.
"We need leadership, and I don't think we're getting it," he said at an EPA-sponsored symposium centered around the agency's 35th anniversary. "To sit back and just push it away and say we'll deal with it sometime down the road is dishonest to the people and self-destructive."
All of the former administrators raised their hands when EPA's current chief, Stephen Johnson, asked whether they believe global warming is a real problem, and again when he asked if humans bear significant blame.
Agency heads during five Republican administrations, including the current one, criticized the Bush White House for what they described as a failure of leadership.
His predecessors disagreed. Lee Thomas, Ruckelshaus's successor in the Reagan administration, said that "if the United States doesn't deal with those kinds of issues in a leadership role, they're not going to get dealt with. So I'm very concerned about this country and this agency."
Bill Reilly, the EPA administrator under the first President Bush, echoed that assessment.
"The time will come when we will address seriously the problem of climate change, and this is the agency that's best equipped to anticipate it," he said.
Christie Whitman, the first of three EPA administrators in the current Bush administration, said people obviously are having "an enormous impact" on the earth's warming.
I suppose the Bush apologists will write this off as more partisan bickering by those tree hugging liberal Republicans...