It's no surprise that Mike Leavitt will finally take the helm at the U.S. EPA. But who knew, after all the Democratic resistance to his nomination, that keen political maneuvering on the part of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and Jim Connaughton, head of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, would usher the Utah governor into the EPA administrator slot by a landslide? Late last week, Frist dealt Democratic resisters the all-powerful "cloture" blow -- a senatorial trump card that can overturn a hold with a minimum of 60 votes. The move paved the way for yesterday's overwhelming …
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Amanda Little, Grist's former Muckraker columnist, is author of Power Trip: The Story of America's Love Affair with Energy. She teaches investigative journalism at Vanderbilt University and her articles on energy and the environment have appeared in publications including Vanity Fair and The New York Times Magazine. You can follow her on Twitter: @littletrip.