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Whitman Beats Strategic Retreat From PR War

May 27, 2003

Re "Whitman Quits EPA Post, Her Record Ripe for Debate," May 22: It's funny hearing Christie Whitman whine about the public relations war conducted against her department by environmentalists. During Whitman's tenure at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Bush administration has shown unprecedented hostility to the environment by slashing spending on environmental enforcement, gutting Bill Clinton's ambitious forest protection plan and nullifying new source review, which would have made coal-fired plants upgrade to cleaner-burning technologies.

After consistently filling major positions with people who are opposed to the policies they were meant to enforce, the administration has sidestepped congressional debate with administrative measures that allow mining, drilling and logging on public lands and "streamlining" procedures that allow developers to ignore environmental protection laws. All the while the Bush administration has played an aggressive public relations game of its own, calling a plan to allow an increase in carbon dioxide emissions the "Clear Skies" plan and naming an initiative to allow increased logging the "Healthy Forests" plan. Whitman ought to be thankful to end her association with such an abysmal record.

Dan Benbow

San Francisco

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It doesn't matter who replaces Whitman. As long as the Bush Corp. is in charge, the EPA will continue to be the Environmental Pillaging Agency.

Robin Supak

Canyon Country

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It is outrageous to see the continued scaremongering employed by the Bush administration and House Republicans to try to open up our public forests to the timber industry (May 21). Their misleading names for destructive policies like the Healthy Forests Restoration Act will not cover up the fact that by removing the biggest, most fire-resistant trees from our forests, they will in fact be increasing fire intensity rather than reducing it.

Californians need to stand up to the Bush administration and demand that forests like Giant Sequoia National Monument and our Sierra Nevada forests remain protected.

Ross Hammersley

Los Angeles

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