Eric Schaeffer, the Director of Regulatory Enforcement at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), resigned recently, citing "frustration about the fate of [the EPA's] enforcement actions against power companies that have violated the Clean Air Act." An EPA employee for twelve years, Mr. Schaeffer accused the White House of being "determined to weaken the rules [the EPA] is trying to enforce." According to him, new White House environmental policies, such as the Clear Skies and Global Climate Change Initiatives, will widen the loop holes already present in the Clean Air Act and, in the end, help the nine power companies under prosecution to continue violating laws already in place. In response to the resignation, Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn) intends to address Mr. Schaeffer's complaints when the Governmental Affairs Committee, chaired by Sen. Lieberman, convenes to discuss the Bush Administration's environmental policies.
The first two hyperlinks come from MSNBC: a news report explaining Mr. Schaeffer's' departure and, second, his resignation letter to Christine Whitman, the top administrator at the EPA. An Los Angeles Times report further outlines the situation, and the link from Earth Justice, a nonprofit, pro-environment law firm, provides a statement that gives more details on the connections between the resignation and the policies of the Bush Administration. From the Washington Post, two older articles from January, an editorial and a report, are next. The editorial requests that President Bush "reject any proposals" that don't "put older plants on a track to cut emissions over time," while the report details potential partisan opposition to then-proposed plans to ease air pollution standards for older, coal-burning power plants. Finally, the White House outlines its new environmental policies on their Web site with an Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) file of the Climate Change Review and substantial Web presentations of the Clear Skies and Global Climate Change Initiatives.
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