So it is quite feasible to think that Kempthorne will slide into his DC position, like a knife through butter. How much damage can Kempthorne do in three years? Do we really want to find out? Remember the concern when it was a possibility that Kempthorne was considered to be the head of the EPA? Remember, "after Kempthorne became governor of Idaho, the state increased toxic emissions by 2 percent—this during a period when the national average declined by 9 percent".
There are some soft concerned whispers out in blogland, but there should be SHOUTS, as there were about Harriet Meyers. But again, does anybody know who Kempthorne is and what he stands for?
Check out these blogs/articles and help get the word out across America and warn them about what the consequences could be if Kempthorne is confirmed.
Left In The West: "Kempthorne's Song and Dance"
This nomination follows in a long Bush tradition of spearheading government agencies with their sharpest critics and encouraging the haters to do their worst.NY Times
"He represents a continuation of five years of an administration policy of exploiting public lands for oil and gas development and other resource extraction," said Philip E. Clapp, president of the National Environmental Trust.Boise Weekly: "Down in the Dirk"
Ridenbaugh Press: "Kempthorne's New Gig"
If you don’t like the Bush Administration’s approach generally on environmental matters, you won’t like Kempthorne’s.Sierra Club: Kempthorne Nomination Raises Serious Concerns
Given the administration's and Kempthorne's own track record on the environment, unfortunately we have little hope that as Interior Secretary he would provide the leadership necessary to protect our national parks, wildlife and other special places.New West
Just this week Andrus told reporters he hoped Kempthorne would take a position against the proposed sale of public lands, a proposition that is immensely unpopular in Idaho. Until then he should not expect support from Andrus.New West: "Please, not Kempthorne"
"...our new Interior Secretary really needs to reflect the prevailing sentiment of the people he or she serves, not special interests viewing our public lands as reserves of unmined natural resources."Grist
Kempthorne has also been a longtime proponent of exploiting natural resources on federal lands -- drilling in the Arctic Refuge and on the outer continental shelf, and logging in roadless areas of national forests.The Missoulisan
"He's been a faithful mouthpiece of the polluting industries of Idaho ever since he worked for FMC."The Idaho Statesman: Kempthorne a shoo-in
Environmentalists point to Kempthorne's aggressive jousting with the Environmental Protection Agency over cleaning up the Silver Valley in North Idaho after a century of heavy metal mining contamination as a sign of his values. In his 2002 State of the State address, Kempthorne said about the EPA: "I am so frustrated with them that I am on the verge of inviting them to leave the state."National Environmental Trust
"As a senator and a governor, Dirk Kempthorne has been an unabashed champion of the resource extraction and development interests that profit most from public lands. He has led the fight to open the last untouched 30% of the national forests to logging, mining and oil and gas drilling. He granted the only permit to mine Idaho's state forests. He led the fight to weaken the Endangered Species Act, long opposed by real estate interests. Last but not least, he fought efforts to regulate arsenic in drinking water from both the Senate and the Idaho State House.FACT SHEET: Idaho's Environment Under Kempthorne
- Budget: Kempthorne cut Idaho's environmental services budget three times in two years.
- Toxics: Though 35 states and the nation as a whole reduced the amount of toxins released into the environment from 1998 to 2000, Idaho increased emissions by 2 percent. National emissions decreased by 9 percent in the same period. Idaho emitted 59 pounds of toxins per resident on average in 2000, versus the national average of 25 pounds per perso. In 2000, Idaho — population 1.3 million — had more total toxic emissions than California, population 33.9 million.
- Polluter Enforcement: Idaho polluters avoided inspections at a rate significantly higher than the rest of the country. 63 percent of "significant violators" haven't been inspected in the year analyzed, versus a national average of 48 percent. From 1999 to 2001, inspections for air pollution violators dropped 38 percent and "warning letters" to air polluters decreased 68 percent." (Source: "Bush's choice for EPA job oversaw worsening pollution in Idaho," Knight-Ridder, June 23, 2003)
"During his career in Congress, Governor Kempthorne earned a paltry 1% lifetime LCV score. Enough said."(Ouch! Craig, Simpson, Crapo, and Otter aren't much better. I can only imagine what Otter would do to Idaho if he's elected Governor.)
On a side note, it seems that Kempthorne will be running around unsupervised while in DC...