Iron triangle of policy making


Air pollution is serious | Polls and parties | carbon cap policy | Stewardship evoked |

Compare and contrast:

President Carter with EPA Administrator, Christine Todd Whitman in respect to the following:

1. Content of their explanations,


2. Statements of fact,


3. Examples,


4. Their respective vision is?


5. Do they have a common message?


6. How do they differ?

Christine Todd Whitman, It's My Party Too

Republican, Director of the EPA from 2001-2005, Governor of New Jersey.

“This Land is our Land”

“All my life I’ve spent as much time as possible enjoying the outdoors. Whether hiking, kayaking, fishing, mountain biking, riding, or just taking in the beauty of nature, I find nothing restores the body, mind and spirit like being outdoors.”

“Both of my parents loved nature and open space. The farm on which I grew up had been given to them by my mother’s parents as a wedding present. The called it Pontefract (which means ‘broken bridge’) after the English town from which my father’s family had come to America.”
p. 143

For example,  120 years ago, visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains (national park) could see for 100 miles on a clear day. Today, because of air pollution, that view has been slashed to just 20 miles on the clearest of days.

“always leave any place you go cleaner than you found it.” That ethic
“the deep commitment to environmental protection that so many Americans share.”
“Theodore Roosevelt, Republicans have been in the forefront of environmental protection for the past one hundred years.”
“the nation began to accept an environmental ethic that acknowledged an obligation to conserve America’s magnificent landscape even as the country grew into the world’s most powerful industrial economy.”

“It eventually became clear that conservation was not enough—the federal government would have to act.”

October 1948, Donora Pa. temperature inversion trapped 14,000 in the Monongehela Valley, 20 died.
pp. 148-49
“the modern environmental ethos.”
laws that have made a real difference in the quality of America’s environment.”

Reversal in perception of the Republican party based on polling of the public

18% favor Republican protecting environs vs. 51% “confidence in Democrats’ commitment to protecting the environment.”
“The only good news for Republicans in all this data is that the environment ranks relatively low on lists of voters concerns.”

“it is, and the reputation the party has developed on this issue should trouble all Republicans.”

Jim Greenwood of Pennsylvania
Fred Upton of Michigan
Sherry Boehlert of New York

SENATE            Richard Lugar of Indiana

                          Gordon Smith of Oregon

                          John McCain of Arizona (on global warming)*

“have taken strong, principled stands on behalf of environmental protection.”

*She left out Lincoln Chafee (who lost his seat in 2006 from Rhode Island) and John McCain.

Whitman blames the rhetoric of NGOs:           

National Wildlife Federation
Sierra Club

“Is it any wonder Republicans find groups like these difficult to work with? Rhetoric like theirs is counterproductive—it gets in the way of constructive policy making.”

“..the rhetoric thrown around by many prominent Republicans certainly hasn’t helped either.”

EPA staff called “a Gestapo bureaucracy”

Or Veep Cheney “Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue, but it is not a sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive energy policy.”

“people today have reason to doubt the party’s commitment to the environment.”
“reasonable debate almost impossible.”
ANWR            “Crude Reality”            Outdoor Magazine             2/2004

policies predicated on the belief that that both environmental protection and the protection of economic prosperity can actually go hand in hand.”

Frank Luntz (pollster) “the single issue on which Republicans . . . most vulnerable.”

“One of the many responsible companies, I saw first hand was a BMW plant in South Carolina that was tapping into methane gas produced by a nearby landfill for 25 percent of its energy needs, reducing carbon dioxide emissions at that one facility by about fifty-five thousand tons a year.”

“had saved BMW more than a million dollars in energy costs, and had helped inspire…”

Carbon trading

“we still face significant challenges, including rising rates of childhood asthma, an aging drinking water infrastructure, high levels of mercury in our fish, pollution from power plants, and hundreds of Superfund sites still not cleaned up even as the Superfund Trust Fund rums out of money….”

“the longer we delay , the harder and the costlier the solutions will be.”
“Unfortunately our efforts in this direction, which have produced some impressive results,

    1. mandating reductions in non road diesel engines
    2. legislation to accelerate cleanup of thousands of polluted sites
    3. committing to increasing wetlands
    4. tackling mercury emissions from power plants

have been overshadowed by those in the administration, and key leadership roles in Congress, who never seem to miss an opportunity to dismiss environmental protection as a priority.”

atmosphere of “political poison” in Washington

60 new regulatory regimes were ready by time the new Administration took office, including arsenic levels in drinking water.

“acceptable level of arsenic in drinking water supplies from 50 parts per billion (ppb) to just 10, and  it gave water companies until 2006 to meet the new standard.”

As governor, I had lowered our state’s drinking water standard for arsenic to 10ppb.”

ppb is parts per billion

“I put a hold on the regulation.”
“I was frankly stunned by the firestorm this decision ignited.”
“but the issue (mining corporations) never came up in my discussions with staff.”

Lieberman and Boxer as the “bomb throwers.”
NRDC overstated the impact of the decision to delay “drink arsenic-laced water.”
Press contorted the decision to delay into a decision to allow more arsenic in water

DNC Democratic National Committee ran attack adds “can I have more arsenic in my water mommy?”

Kyoto protocol… which requires much of the developed world to make significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to slow global warming.”

“This controversial international treaty”
1997 Senate vote 95-0 to not ratify Kyoto Protocol (non-western countries critique)
“In 1998, we established an initiative in NJ to reduce GHG  emissions 3.5% below 1990 levels by 2005.”
discussion of her performance in Trieste, G-8 meeting, checked CO2 cap with both
Condi Rice, then as NSA and Office of the White House Chief of Staff, Andy Card (not mentioned by name)

Senate strong opposition to the President’s campaign promise to cap carbon dioxide emissions, from: Chuck Hagel, Jesse Helms, Larry Craig, Pat Roberts

“Apparently, everyone in those meetings was using the California energy crisis to justify a reversal on the cap.”

“Tuesday, March 13, 10:00 AM, meeting with the President,

“that the looming national energy crisis  made it unwise to impose any additional environmental burdens on utilities.”

“I thought that rationale was too focused on the short term. I believed the president could keep his promise to cap carbon dioxide emissions, without threatening the energy supply,…the White House didn’t see it that way.”

“more than forty newspapers wrote editorials” on US to reduce GHG emissions after President’s letter to Senator Hagel reversing his position on carbon dioxide cap

“The roots of our difficulties in forging strong multinational alliance to fight terrorism go all the way back to how we handled Kyoto as well as other international issues, including our participation in the International Criminal Court and the imposition of steel tariffs.”

“the failure of the president’s Clear Skies initiative. In this case, even as we at the EPA were working with the White House on Clear Skies, the president’s landmark proposal for mandatory controls for certain utility emissions, the Energy Task Force headed by Dick Cheney pushed for a different, and less comprehensive, reform of emissions controls that industry favored.”

“the experience  was an eye opening encounter with just how obsessed so many of those in  the energy industry, and in the Republican Party , have become with doing away with environmental regulation.”

“I could not have signed regulatory changes that would have undermined the environmentally important NSR cases that were working their way through the courts.”

“After spending two and a half years  at the EPA, I believe more strongly than ever that a progressive, results –oriented approach is needed in environmental policy making in the US today.”

“the simple fact of the matter is that the environmental policies of the past thirty-five years have worked and worked well.”
p. 192.

"stewards of the environment"

“To cede the battle for environmental protection to the anti regulatory lobbyists and extreme antigovernment ideologues is to ignore our obligations as stewards of the environment for ourselves, our children, and grandchildren.”

“The issues are real and must be confronted with scientific honesty and moral clarity. Because we share the goal of leaving our air cleaner, our water purer, and our land better protected than we found it, we must also share in advancing the policies that will achieve that goal.”
p. 196


Jimmy Carter, Our Endangered Values: America’s Moral Crisis

Democrat, President from 1977-1981, Governor of Georgia, Navy Engineer.

150 years of bipartisan commitment to protecting the environment

“enhancement and protection of the environment.”

“initiation and strengthening of laws to ensure the purity of air and water,”

ANILCA  Alaskan National Interest Lands Conservation Act
“we were able to  double the size of our nation’s  park system and triple our wilderness areas.”

“but once again the last-minute opposition of Alaska’s senators, heavily influenced by the oil industry, blocked the inclusion of full wilderness status for the refuge.”

There are two fundamental premises on which a national ethos rests:
“First , the refuge is an undisturbed habitat of obvious, manifold and world-class wildlife and wilderness values.”
“Second, enlightened American political leaders have known that our nation’s energy future rests not on wrecking pristine natural environments but on far more cost-effective  efficiency alternatives that will give us more certain and permanent independence from foreign oil.”

“This precious area is the ecological heart of a refuge that links to millions of additional acres of protected wildlife habitat in the northwest corner of Canada.”

“…here in its wilderness home is North America’s Serengeti, and has fired the innate love of our people for their natural heritage.”

“their timeless migration to vital calving and nursery grounds—the very area now targeted for oil development.”
“Our nation consumes 7 billion barrels of oil per year, and even if the refuge provided the hoped-for 1million barrels per day, the slightest annual increase in domestic supply would not significantly lessen our dependence on foreign oil.”

“the refuge would yield less than a years supply of oil for the United States.”
p. 167.

Implement a commitment to increase energy efficiency, in prescribed steps, 27.5 miles per gallon.
pp. 167-168.

“motor vehicles now use 40 percent of our nation’s oil, and the average engine horsepower of trucks and SUVs has doubled since 1980, with their weight increasing by almost 1000 pounds.”

“exempt from regulations.”
p. 168.
“Perhaps not surprisingly, political pressures from the oil industry and automobile manufactures have prevailed on this issue, and gas guzzlers have become a major product in our country. This foolish government decision against fuel economy might be a serious long-term blow to the American automobile industry in its competition with more efficient vehicles manufactured in Japan and Europe as fuel prices inevitably rise in the future.”

“Another sad need in our country is the routine maintenance of our national parks.”
“additional funds for the upkeep.”

“in 2005 the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service estimated the backlog at  $7.5 billion. The failure to correct this mistake is obviously bipartisan.”
“Congress…established legal requirement that such wastes be reduced drastically and that those responsible be required to finance the cleanup of their poisonous deposits. Also, a small surcharge on polluting chemical companies established a permanent fund to cover future costs.”

“the polluter’s pay principle was abandoned.”

“American taxpayers were forced to pay about 80% of the clean-up costs in 2004 and will bear the total bill in fiscal year 2005. There is little financial incentive for unscrupulous corporations to restrict their dumping of toxic wastes.”
p. 169.
Greenhouse gas emission’s reduction
“an increasing amount of heat is retained instead of being dissipated from the earth’s atmosphere.”
1979 warnings of scientists from a Woods Hole Research Center panel “are coming true.”
“the level of the seas is rising, and marked abnormalities are observed in the behavior and survivability of sensitive species.”

 “This is happening quite rapidly.”
“The history of this effort is another disturbing indication of the recent change in our nation’s values”

By 1988, the international community had become deeply concerned about the problem, and an international panel on climate change (IPCC) was formed. After two years of (investigation) intense scientific analysis, a report was issued stating the the planet was warming and that human activity was causing it.”

1992 Rio “Earth Summit”

1997 Kyoto Accords to “reduce the1990 level of greenhouse gas emissions overall by 5% between 2008 and 12012.
July 29, 2001 Bonn Agreement on adopting the Kyoto Protocol targets by 180 nations
“This milestone was reached when Russia ratified this agreement (),  and ninety days after the Kyoto Protocol became international law, on February 16, 2005.
“In April 2005, a definitive report was published in the journal Science by a group of scientists led by James E. Hansen, a NASA climatologist, that should dispel all doubts about forecasts of climate change. After a five-year study using more than two thousand  monitoring stations around the globe, they determined that temperatures would continue a slow rise even if greenhouse  gases are capped immediately, and will ‘spin out of control’ if strong corrective action is not taken.”

“Based on additional scientific proof of the long-range problem, Holland has committed to cut emissions by 80 percent, the United Kingdom by 60 percent, and Germany by 50 percent in the next forty years.”
“would allow older, coal-burning power plants to avoid installing pollution controls when they repair or modernize, would permit violations of health standards concerning soot and smog to continue until 2015 or longer, and would allow twice as much sulfur dioxide and one and a half times as much nitrogen dioxide for a decade longer than would the existing Clean Air Act.
pp. 174-75.
Compliance delays in downwind areas “…another serious setback for the Clean Air Act”

Senator John McCain, “Unfortunately, the special interests rule Washington, D.C. The major lobbies, including the utilities, wield enormous power on Capitol Hill.”
p. 175.
“In fact, General Electric and others have already announced plans to support compliance with the Kyoto treaty provisions. Despite U.S. government opposition, clean technology is the wave of the future.”
“There are geopolitical consequences of our government’s new policies, as we continue to reward non democratic oil-rich foreign nations and retain our dependence on them….”

President Carter on serious global issues: excerpts of his speech on winning the Nobel Prize for Peace.

Carbon as a capital investment and not a pollutant.


President Carter contrasted with EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman