04 March 2005 17:08 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (CNI)--President George W Bush named a career government environmental executive Friday to be the new administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), noting that Stephen Johnson will be the first scientist to head EPA.
Johnson, a 24-year EPA employee, has been serving as acting administrator at the agency since January when former EPA chief Mike Leavitt was named secretary at the Health & Human Services Department. Among many other roles at the agency, Johnson previously has served as EPA deputy administrator - the number two job at the agency - under Leavitt and the earlier EPA chief, Christie Todd Whitman.
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In nominating Johnson at a White House press conference this morning, Bush hailed him as “an innovative problem-solver with good judgment and complete integrity.”
Noting that Johnson is a professional scientist and an authority on pesticides and toxic substances, Bush said Johnson “will use that background to set clear, rational standards for environmental quality and to place sound scientific analysis at the heart of all major decisions.”
That presidential comment likely will be welcomed by chemical and other industry leaders who have long complained that many EPA decisions are made without regard for scientific facts.
Bush said Johnson “shares my conviction that we can improve the earth while maintaining a vibrant and competitive economy.”
Johnson praised Bush’s environmental record, saying: “Under your leadership, we have made great strides in environmental protection.” Johnson said it will be “my distinct privilege to serve you and our nation to continue to advance [the] environmental agenda while maintaining our nation’s economic competitiveness.”
That statement is seen as in keeping with Bush’s longstanding opposition to the Kyoto Treaty on grounds that participation in that worldwide environmental protocol would result in substantial damage to the
Bush said Johnson’s “immediate task is to work with Congress to pass my Clear Skies Initiative.” Bush’s Clear Skies plan is his alternative to the
Johnson must be confirmed by the US Senate before formally taking up his duties as EPA administrator. Given his long career with the agency, his nomination is not likely to face serious opposition on Capitol Hill.
Officials at various
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