Possible Recess Appointments to Henhouse for Three Industry Foxes

Chickens (Chooks)"The White House has renominated three people for top jobs affecting the environment who were previously blocked in Congress because of their pro-industry views," reports Judy Pasternak. "According to industry lobbyists and Republican aides in Congress, Bush intends to skirt the Senate approval process if necessary by making recess appointments." The controversial nominees are William Wehrum, nominated to head the Environmental Protection Agency's air office; Alex Beehler, to EPA inspector general; and Susan Dudley, to White House regulations chief. As counsel to the EPA's air office, Wehrum suggested language for power-plant mercury emissions standards "lifted verbatim from a memo by Latham & Watkins, Wehrum's former law firm, which represented utility companies affected by the rule." Beehler is "a Pentagon official and former executive for Koch Industries," a notorious polluter. At the Pentagon, Beehler had "frequent meetings with manufacturers and users of perchlorate," a rocket fuel ingredient that has contaminated water supplies "in at least 25 states." Dudley used to head the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, a "free-market think tank ... supported in part by Koch Industries. ... At Mercatus, Dudley described EPA decisions as unnecessarily stringent."