22 May 2003

EPA Administrator Christie Whitman met with President Bush on Wednesday and tendered her resignation as Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency, effective 27 June 2003. In a letter to President Bush, Mrs. Whitman said the reason for leaving was her desire to return to her home life in New Jersey.

At her previous office, as New Jersey Governor, Whitman had been an environmental moderate. As the EPA Administrator, she was considered one of the few reliable defenders of the environment within Bush administration.

Some of the steps taken by Whitman that were most cheered by environmentalists included upholding the 2007-2010 emissions standards for diesel trucks and buses, which were developed by Clinton administration. During Whitman’s tenure, the EPA also developed a proposal for Tier 4 emissions standards for mobile nonroad diesel engines. Both diesel rules—the 2007-2010 regulation for highway vehicles and the Tier 4 proposal for nonroad engines—bring the most stringent emissions standards worldwide for the respective engine categories and have been designed to force the use of advanced emission controls, such as diesel particulate filters and NOx control catalysts, on new heavy-duty diesel engines.

Perhaps the biggest setback for Whitman was the rejection of the Kyoto Protocol on global warming by the USA. She supported Kyoto and had assured the European allies that the US administration was committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, only to have President Bush renounce the Protocol.

Whitman, who is 56, told reporters that she has no plans to run for office.

Source: US EPA