NRDC's Reaction to Whitman Resignation

WASHINGTON (May 21, 2003) -- In response to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Christine Todd Whitman's resignation, NRDC Advocacy Director Gregory Wetstone made this statement:

"As head of the agency charged with protecting the public from pollution, Governor Whitman presided over a White House-driven effort to undermine crucial environmental laws. Although there have been a few exceptions, Whitman's tenure at EPA has been a disaster for public health and our environment.

"Whitman was not the force behind the Bush administration's unprecedented assault on our landmark environmental protections, and her resignation is not the solution. Whitman occasionally opposed environmental retreats in unsuccessful behind the scenes battles with the White House, but almost never prevailed.

"Her accomplishments, tough rules on diesel pollution and a decision to clean up the Hudson River, are small steps forward on a train speeding backward.

"Confirmation hearings on the next EPA administrator will give Congress and the American people a chance to demand a more responsible environmental policy.

The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, non-profit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has more than 550,000 members nationwide, served from offices in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco.