As Christie Whitman’s
mercifully brief tenure as Director of the Environmental Protection Agency
came to an end, the hope was that President Bush would appoint someone who
would reform an agency that has done everything in its power to cripple the
nation’s economy. The EPA has done everything it could to restrict access
to energy and other natural resources, has put Americans at risk by banning
or forcing beneficial pesticides off the market, and has attacked property
rights in every way it could.
The appointment of three-term Utah Governor Mike Leavitt, if confirmed, would
be worse than the bumbling of Whitman. Leavitt would come to the job as a
dedicated one-worlder who would destroy the ability of local communities
to protect themselves against the endless Non-Government Organizations (NGOs).
These organizations dictate environmental policy in the halls of the United
Nations and play havoc with development of any kind here in the US. It is
the NGOs that still struggle to impose the Kyoto Treaty on Climate Control
on the US, despite a unanimous Senate resolution that rejected it.
Governor Leavitt’s supporters point to his effort to extend a highway that
would unsnarl a major commuter bottleneck near Salt Lake City. Utah environmentalists
(Greens) have fought that effort and at present a 10th Circuit US Court of
Appeals has blocked most of the work citing, of course, inadequate environmental
studies. It is publicly conjectured that, as EPA Director, Leavitt might
seek to rewrite wetlands regulations, part of the Clean Water Act. All this
gives the appearance of a man who would seek to remove or revise many of
the environmental laws that block development.
The truth is quite different. Rodney Stubbs, an investigative reporter, has
dug into the story behind Gov. Leavitt's embrace of “Enlibra,” a name attached
to “the establishment of Principles for Environmental Management in the West.
In Oregon, these principles include Smart Growth and Sustainable Development.”
In reality, Smart Growth means no growth and Sustainable Development means
no development. They are the ultimate environmental Big Lies.
Enlibra is based on the United Nations Agenda 21 that would strip local,
state and even federal government bodies of the right to represent their
constituents whenever environmental restrictions and controls are imposed.
It goes right to the heart of the concept of national sovereignty at every
level. It seeks to destroy it and put the NGOs in charge.
Along with Governor Leavitt, Enlibra was embraced by the former Governor
of Oregon, Dr. John Kitzhaber, who pushed through the Oregon Sustainability
Act. Thus, in Oregon, environmental governance removes the role of elected
representatives and replaces them with power granted to NGOs such as the
Sierra Club, 1000 Friends of Oregon, the World Wildlife Federation, and the
Audubon Society. Nobody elected these people!
As Stubbs points out, Enlibra is a policy designed “to destroy capitalism,
consumption, and the American free enterprise system. The process changes
the fundamental purpose of having elected officials represent their constituents
and forever forecloses the option to change the rules if found to be unworkable.”
Now, think about Enlibra as a policy applied at the federal level by the Environmental Protection Agency?
Think about Governor Leavitt as the EPA Director, knowing that he endorsed
the reauthorization and amendment of the 1973 Endangered Species Act, one
of the worst pieces of environmental legislation ever imposed on this nation.
Think about Governor Leavitt as a leading advocate of the Conference of States
resolution to institute a Constitutional Convention whose purpose was to
radically change our Constitution.
Think of former Governor and EPA Director Christie Whitman as Mary Poppins
and Governor Leavitt as Darth Vader! His appointment needs to be defeated
and some serious questions need to be asked why President Bush selected this
Alan Caruba is the author of Warning Signs, published by Merril Press. His weekly commentaries are posted on the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center.