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Blocking nomination of Gov. Leavitt is bad for the environment, Oklahoma

Location: Washington, DC

Blocking nomination of Gov. Leavitt is bad for the environment, Oklahoma

Washington, D.C.-Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, released the following statement in response to today's minority boycott of the vote on Gov. Leavitt's nomination to be the next EPA Administrator:

"The EPW minority today publicly shunned the committee's bipartisan tradition by boycotting the nomination of Gov. Mike Leavitt to be the next EPA Administrator. This is an unprecedented act that is bad for America's environmental policy.

"We need an EPA Administrator now to address the many pressing environmental issues now facing Oklahomans and all Americans. Mike Leavitt has ably served the people of Utah for 11 years, and has served as chairman of the National Governors Association and the Western Governors Association. He has widespread Republican and Democratic support, from senators, governors, and local officials.

"No one disputes that Mike Leavitt is highly qualified for this job. Even the ranking minority member, Sen. Jeffords (I-Vt.), said as much at today's markup. He also said that he would vote for Mike Leavitt. It is clear to me that this boycott is not about Mike Leavitt, but presidential politics, designed to embarrass President Bush.

"I will say this: if Democrats are serious about protecting the environment, they will end their partisan obstructionism and vote for Mike Leavitt to be the next EPA Administrator."

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