Environmental Protection Agency chief Christie Whitman has announced she is leaving the Bush administration (May 22). When executives get fired in the private sector, they are “leaving to pursue other interests.” When they leave the White House family, they “leave to spend more time with their own families.” It is well known that Whitman has been unhappy ever since President Bush rejected the Kyoto treaty on global warming.
Whitman, a moderate Republican from New Jersey, has been silenced at nearly every turn as corporate greed triumphed over environmental safeguards. The seeming loss of authority on environmental issues would nearly suggest she was a subordinate to Interior Secretary Gale Norton, a James Watt acolyte.
Since Whitman has been silent, or silenced, since her appointment, I have been assuming this event would come sooner or later. As a moderate Republican, she’s a good GOP soldier and will not make a fuss about her reasons for leaving. Rather she will simply and quietly slip out the back door to a world where her conscience can live in peace.