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Leavitt to EPA

Utah governor Mike Leavitt nicely fits the profile of most Bush appointments: Extreme anti-regulation types presented to the public as moderates, whose confirmation, we are told, is just good common sense that decent hardworking folk should support. To do otherwise would be unthinkable, just as it would be unthinkable to challenge Bush’s patronizing stump (excuse me) speech at an Aspen fire overlook Monday. After all, if he tells us that thinning would save forests from fires, it must be undeniable.*

Today’s Salt Lake Tribune doesn’t exactly stake out the issues regarding Utah gov. Mike Leavitt’s nomination by Bush to the EPA:

Certainly, Leavitt’s long-standing push to shift environmental battlegrounds from the federal to state level will earn him a warm reception from committee Republicans, who also include Idaho’s Mike Crapo, Colorado’s Wayne Allard and Chairman James Inhofe of Oklahoma.

“I have spoken with Governor Leavitt several times, and the issue always returns to our mutual support in the collaborative process of problem-solving,” Crapo said. “I expect he will have plenty of opportunity to use that collaborative process to settle differences between the local and state governments, and the federal agencies on environmental issues.”

What a surprise that Mike Crapo would point out Leavitt’s love of collaboration … with “local and state governments, and the federal agencies.” It’s nice that avowed anti-environmentalist Crapo can agree with avowed anti-regulationist Leavitt on collaborating. That’s very genial of him.

* Unless, of course, such a statement is a massive oversimplification of a good deal of contrary evidence. This is just par for the course.