As reported in Seattle PI, President Obama may nominate outgoing Democratic Washington governor Chris Gregoire as the chief of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Gregoire was first elected to the position of Governor of Washington in 2004 and won re-election by a slim margin in 2008.
Gregoire has a mixed record on the environment. Before being elected Attorney General in 1992 she was director of Washington’s Department of Ecology. She served as the director of the Washington Department of Ecology from 1988 until 1992.
One of her greatest achievements concerns the Hanford nuclear waste cleanup agreement. She successfully negotiated a three party agreement in 1989 with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy to clean up waste at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
Although vociferously resisted by the first Bush administration, the three party agreement withstood legal challenges and held up in court. As attorney general she sued several times to try to get a more adequate cleanup job.
She also launched an ambitious Puget Sound cleanup effort early in her first term as governor and she was a leader in the Western Climate Initiative.
However Gregoire’s environmental record is not unblemished. She has allied herself with shipping, agricultural and other economic interests against efforts to restore salmon runs to the Columbia River system.
© 2013, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
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