Washington Post: EPA Building Named for President Clinton
At an event Wednesday celebrating the renaming of the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in his honor, former president Bill Clinton began his remarks by saying the accolade could easily have gone to his vice president, Al Gore.
During the eight years of his presidency, Clinton presided over some of the most sweeping environmental protections in the nation’s history, pushed by Gore and others in the administration.
Clinton’s environmental agenda included a massive cleanup of polluted Superfund sites, protections for millions of acres of wildlands and the enforcement of tougher air-quality standards under the Clean Air Act.
The EPA headquarters already had a name — the Ariel Rios Building, honoring an undercover Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent killed in the line of duty three decades ago at age 28.
The building once housed the ATF. Now that the agency has its own building, Rios’s family supported naming a reflecting pool for him instead.
The EPA was proposed and created in 1970 by President Richard M. Nixon.
The EPA “will forever be known as the William Jefferson Clinton building,” Boxer said, praising the former president for expanding the economy and environmental protections in the 1990s, against strong political opposition.
Browner described economic growth coupled with environmental protections as her former boss’s mantra. Key to Clinton’s success, she said, was his recognition “that the EPA’s work was about protecting the most vulnerable among us, the children,” she said. “When you do that, you protect all of us.”