U.S. EPA Administrator Christie Whitman announced this week that she is “very comfortable” with the Pentagon’s proposals to exempt the military from a broad swath of environmental regulations. In response to the war in Iraq, the Defense Department has stepped up its longstanding efforts to obtain military waivers for rules ranging from endangered species protections to clean air requirements. Environmentalists were dismayed but not surprised by Whitman’s support for the Pentagon. Daniel Patterson, a desert ecologist with the Center for Biological Diversity, said, Whitman “works for the most anti-environmental president in history. … I think she is trying to toe the administration line: ‘My boss wants this and we don’t have a problem with it.'” Whitman denied such concerns, saying, “There is no effort on the part of the administration to lower [environmental] standards.”