Opinion

Utah Gov. Michael Leavitt is qualified for EPA post

Last week Democrats boycotted a Senate committee meeting to prevent Utah’s governor from being approved as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency. Their actions are ridiculous, and the reasons why Democrats say they did this are insulting to Governor Michael Leavitt. The committee was planning to vote on Governor Leavitt’s nomination but was unable to because none of the Democrats showed. A minimum of two democrats is required to be present for the vote.

Why are the Democrats doing this? To criticize President Bush of course. The reason they give for their absence: Gov. Leavitt has not completed the hundreds of written questions they have for him. The Democrats sent Vermont Sen. James Jeffords (Ind.) to voice concerns about the Bush administration’s weak environmental standards.

Gov. Leavitt has a long history of working to help the environment and is more than qualified for the job. Many of his endeavors have often found him collaborating with several groups, including Democrats, in order to make his environmental solutions work. An accomplishment by Gov. Leavitt that demonstrates his fine ability is what he did in 2002 when Utah hosted the Olympic Winter Games. The Salt Lake Organizing Committee set four environmental goals: A) Net zero air emissions B) Zero Waste C) Complete compliance with all environmental standards set by the government and D) The planting of 100,000 trees. All of these goals were met.

Gov. Leavitt came up with a philosophy, “Enlibra,” for approaching the achievement of environmental protection with the help of Former Governor John Kitzhaber of Oregon. “Enlibra” is derived from Latin, meaning to “move toward balance.” Tell me that is not qualified. Gov. Leavitt has demonstrated over the years that he is prepared to work with others in order to help the environment. This is a man dedicated to making the world we live in safer for generations to come.

Gov. Leavitt is the nation’s longest-serving governor. Why? Because he has improved air quality, land quality, and preserved priceless lands in the Western United States. So the Democrats should do their job and let him work his magic on the rest of our beautiful country.

Ernesto Zaldivar is a freshman majoring in political science. If you will not be attending the next Senate meeting email him at e.zaldivar@umiami.edu

October 10, 2003

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