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Posted by on Nov 24, 2015 in Environment, Politics, Science & Technology | 11 comments

Reagan EPA Chief Mocks Republicans For Ignoring Climate Change (Guest Voice)

He says they’re “going through all the stages of denial.” William Ruckelshaus, who on Tuesday is to receive the nation’s highest civilian honor, the presidential medal of freedom, told the Guardian that leading Republicans are harming the US’s reputation by attempting to stymie efforts to tackle climate change. The criticism is particularly stinging as Ruckelshaus previously…

  • JSpencer

    Future irony: If the GOP ever gets on board with climate change, they’ll pretend they’ve always been on board.

    • Slamfu

      We are at war with Eurasia and have always been at war with Eurasia.

    • dduck12

      Smart move, though. 🙂

  • shannonlee

    We will just have to buy all of our green technology from Germany…. we can help pay for their single payer health insurance.

    • Slamfu

      And their free college educations. Can you imagine what a load off the average person’s mind not having to worry about how to pay for medical care and college must be?

      • shannonlee

        College for sure… I doubt the average person thinks about health insurance until they need it… particularly the young folk.

        • Slamfu

          Really? I thought about it all the time. Every person who applies for a job at my company expects it. I have to pay for it. Most businesses do. Parents need it for their kids. Medical issues happen at random and can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Who isn’t thinking of that somewhere in their minds?

          • shannonlee

            A lot of people that dont work the kind of jobs that pay health insurance… thankfully there are fewer of them now.

  • rudi

    Ruckleahaus is a true Midwest moderate Republican. In the same mold as Bill Milliken. Today’s republican party wouldn’t welcome either to their fold. His background is impressive,

    Starting at age 28, he was a Deputy Attorney General of Indiana from 1960 through 1965. For two years he was assigned to the Indiana Board of Health. As counsel to the Indiana Stream Pollution Control Board, Ruckelshaus obtained court orders prohibiting industries and municipalities from heavy pollution of the state’s water supply. He also helped draft the 1961 Indiana Air Pollution Control Act, the state’s first attempt to reduce that problem. He then spent two years as Chief Counsel for the Attorney General’s Office.

    Ruckelshaus then began a political career. He ran in 1964 as a moderate Republican for an Indiana Congressional seat, losing in the primaries to a candidate from the conservative wing of the party. He then spent a year as Minority Attorney for the Indiana State Senate.

    He then won a seat in the Indiana House of Representatives, benefitting from an up year for Republicans overall. He became Majority Leader of the House in his first term, serving in that capacity from 1967 to 1969.

    Ruckelshaus then won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 1968, but lost in the general election 51%-48% to Birch Bayh.

    President Richard Nixon then appointed him for the years 1969 and 1970 as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Civil Division for the U.S. Department of Justice.
    EPA Administrator
    Ruckleshaus sworn in as first EPA Administrator.

    Ruckelshaus became the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s first Administrator when the agency was formed on December 2, 1970, by President Nixon. Although many people were mentioned as possibilities for this new position, Ruckelshaus got the nod based upon the strong recommendation of the U.S. Attorney General, John Mitchell.

    Ruckelshaus laid the foundation for the EPA by hiring its leaders, defining its mission, deciding priorities, and selecting an organizational structure.
    DDT Ban

    With the formation of EPA, authority over pesticides was transferred to it from the Department of Agriculture. The fledgling EPA’s first order of business was whether to issue a ban of DDT. Judge Edmund Sweeney was appointed to examine the case and held testimony hearings for seven months. His conclusion was that DDT “is not a carcinogenic hazard to man” and that “there is a present need for the essential uses of DDT”. However, Ruckelshaus (who had not attended the hearings or read the report himself) overruled Sweeney’s decision and issued the ban nevertheless, claiming that DDT was a “potential human carcinogen” [1] Present-day scientific opinion considers DDT to be “probably carcinogenic to humans”.[2]
    Saturday Night Massacre

    In April 1973 in the growing midst of the Watergate scandal, there was a major reshuffling of Nixon administration posts, due to the resignations of White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman and Domestic Affairs Advisor John Ehrlichman. Ruckelshaus’s record of success at EPA and his reputation for integrity led to his being appointed Acting Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

    Later in the same year, he was appointed Deputy Attorney General of the United States Department of Justice. In an event known as the “Saturday Night Massacre”, Ruckelshaus and his boss, Elliot Richardson, famously resigned their positions within the Justice Department rather than obey an order from President Nixon to fire the Watergate special prosecutor, Archibald Cox, who was investigating official misconduct on the part of the president and his aides.

  • dduck12

    Yea, WR, you are correct.

  • Slamfu

    Ah, a nice little stroll down memory lane to a time when there were Republicans who made decisions based on reality and not the political math of destroying the other guys. Those were good times.

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