Whitehouse Casts Vote Against David Hill

Sheldon Whitehouse continues to advocate for more attention to science at the Environmental Protection Agency. In a vote of 10-9, David Hill was rejected as the legal counsel for the EPA. From the Whitehouse press office:

Whitehouse Votes to Reject Bush Appointee for Top Legal Job at EPA

Washington, D.C. In an expression of strong concern over the infiltration of politics into environmental regulation and policy, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) joined a majority of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee today to reject President Bush’s nominee to serve as general counsel for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The Committee’s vote was 10 to 9 against David Hill, who now serves as general counsel of the Department of Energy. Whitehouse said Hill’s testimony before the committee and his responses to follow-up questions displayed a lack of candor and failure of leadership.

“EPA is in crisis. Its own career employees, as well as the public at large, believe its leadership has let politics trump its longstanding commitment to protecting the environment and the public health,” Whitehouse said. “At this time, more than ever, we need leadership at EPA that will promote transparent decision-making that is immune both from political interference and from judicial ridicule. I have no confidence that Mr. Hill will provide such leadership at EPA.”

Whitehouse, a former Rhode Island U.S. Attorney and Attorney General, has helped lead the EPW Committee’s investigation into the politicization of decision-making at EPA. He chaired a hearing earlier this month to hear testimony from George Gray, EPA’s Assistant Administrator for the Office of Research and Development, and a panel of scientists. Gray refused to respond to concerns raised by scientists and policymakers that political considerations have dictated decision-making at the agency.

We live in a big, beautiful country that needs our protection and care. Thank you, Sen. Whitehouse, for standing up for better environmental policy.

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2 thoughts on “Whitehouse Casts Vote Against David Hill

  1. I assume Mr. Whitehouse is highly regarded in his home state but I must be candid. I decided to watch the Senate oil hearings, replayed last evening from 11PM or so to 2 AM, preparing for a Renewable Energy course I will be teaching. It was an opportunity to listen to the perspectives of the industry side and the political side. Mr. Whitehouse is a committee member and I must be candid. His comments about an existential moment in the history of the human species being more significant than $4 gasoline, and how we really should not increase the amount of oil available, struck me as more than exisitential. It is a bit looney.

    I make no assertion that the gentleman is any worse (or better) than some of our own delegation (our Mr. Udall, for example, or Ms Feinstein of California), but I did come away from the hearings undertsanding why we are in this mess. A marvelously uninformed and ethereal set of congressional folks with a distorted and superficial view of the situation is the cause. This plays nicely into the hands of the oil cartel, and the transfer of our wealth to other countries every time we buy gasoline, friendly folks like Hugo Chavez or the Iranians. The gist of the hearings was that industry folks tried to explain that they buy product (oil) from foreign sources at market value ($125-130 a barrel). They ship it refine it and sell it. 60% of American oil is foreign oil and the companies cannot look for American oil on the West Caost, the East Coast, the eastern Gulf or the Rocky Mountains, so they buy foreign oil from state run oil companies (70% of all oil on the market is foreign and state owned). However, there is about 800 billion to 1 trillion (1000 billion) barrels of oil in tar sands and oil shales here in North America, unused! One is amazed to listen to these “astute” Senators not understand that we have little or no need of foreign oil if we let our own industry folks (most of whom are small companies by the way),drill and produce.

    The world is a strange and interesting place.

  2. back in the late Nineties i was in the Netherlands and i picked up a photo book in German(I can read the captions)which covered the aftermath of the fall of the Soviet Union and there were numerous photos of pollution sites,many in Siberia.Unbelieveable-worse than Piisburgh or Gary,Indiana at their worst.I think China is at that point now.We actually started doing something in the late Sixties/early Seventies and it shows.I was in Pittsburgh in 1967 and again in 2007.It was like night and day.

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