Leavitt to move from EPA to HHS

President Bush announced today that he intends to move U.S. EPA chief Mike Leavitt into a new position as secretary of health and human services, ending Leavitt’s tenure of just over a year at the agency. Leavitt, a rising star in the Republican Party and a fierce Bush loyalist, managed to raise the ire of environmentalists numerous times during his short stint at EPA as he pushed the Bush administration agenda of a more biz-friendly environmental regulatory system. Amusingly, a Sierra Club press release on Leavitt’s job change included a repeat of a line the group used in 2003 when Leavitt’s predecessor, Christine Todd Whitman, tendered her resignation: “Given the administration’s track record on the environment, we have little hope that President Bush’s next EPA administrator will be allowed to do a better job of cutting pollution and keeping families safe.”