Indiana Governor Mitch "Let BP Dump Whatever They Want" Daniels is giving the weekly Republican radio address this week and it's on the environment. Wait, what?
House GOP Leader John Boehner said Daniels was a leading voice against what he called "misguided legislation that imposes a new national tax on energy." Daniels criticized the plan this week during an Indianapolis event with three Indiana Republican congressmen.
So, the guy that told us the Iraq War would cost $50 billion (total, not per month), gutted Indiana's public assistance programs, and has been openly hostile toward environmental regulation is now an environmental leader worthy of going toe-to-toe with the President? For real?
So lets look at the guy the Republicans hold up as their standard bearer for environmental causes.
- Mitch Daniels got appointed a former coal industry executive, to head the Indiana Department of Environmental Management's (IDEM) office of legal counsel, which is in charge of taking action against polluters in the state
- The Indy Star and the Gary Post-Tribune both criticized Daniels for the appointment and for making IDEM a "rubber stamp" for industry with the Indy Star referring to Daniels's tone-deafness as "in-your-face"
- Under Daniels's regime, IDEM has cut off funding for recycling programs, cut off funding for pollution prevention programs, closed the Office of Enforcement for IDEM, and sought to weaken standards and penalties for polluters.
- A 2007 Forbes magazine ranking of the greenest states ranked Indiana 49th of the 50 states for environmental friendliness
- Evidence of Daniels's willingness to put industry above the environment came when BP was was given a waiver to dump toxins into Lake Michigan despite overwhelming public outcry and the clear environmental impact
- Daniels went so far as to call detractors "emotional" when he was criticized about the BP dumping permit
And there's plenty more where that came from - it's just kinda depressing to wade through all that muck.
But, yeah, I think it makes perfect sense that the Republicans are choosing the guy whose state ranks 49th in environmental friendliness to take on Obama regarding new environmental standards.
Mitch Daniels is the embodiment of the Republican party. Bad on the environment, wrong on the war, hostile toward the less fortunate.
No wonder they keep talking about him running for president...