Sen. Whitehouse On EPA Politicization: ‘It Looks Like Déjà Vu All Over Again’

The Wonk Room’s Brad Johnson noted recently that the Environmental Protection Agency under current Administrator Stephen Johnson has been operating a lot like the Department of Justice under former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. The EPA’s willingness to place loyalty to Bush above country has resulted in widespread political interference throughout the Agency.

Yesterday — in an event that bears stunning similarities to the U.S. Attorney scandal — a top EPA regional administrator, Mary Gade, revealed that she was fired after political appointees at the EPA disagreed with her push to regulate dioxin contamination in the Midwest. Former EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Sussman called Gade’s firing “unprecedented and highly irregular.”

In 2000, Gade said, “I’m a Republican and a supporter of Texas Governor George W. Bush.” Moreover, when she was appointed in 2006, the EPA Administrator praised her qualifications; Michigan Environmental Council President Lana Pollack called Gade a “woman of unquestioned credentials.”

Today on the Senate floor, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) — who aggressively pursued the politicization at the DoJ under Gonzales — said he sees a recurring pattern:

Well, here we go again, perhaps. … We do not yet know all the details of Ms. Gade’s firing, or everything that may have gone on between her office and Dow Chemical. But from everything that we’ve heard and seen so far, it looks like déjà vu all over again.

Watch it:

Sen. Whitehouse will be leading an oversight hearing into the politicization of the EPA and the circumstances surrounding Gade’s dismissal next Wednesday.


Even after the sordid revelations of cronyism and corruption unraveled the Department of Justice, the White House appears undeterred in its efforts to politicize the entire federal government.


The Wonk Room looks at Dow Chemical’s long-running efforts to thwart the regulation of dioxin contamination.