Wednesday, May 28, 2008

President Bush <3 Carbon Emissions

Last week, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held hearings on the Bush administration's politicization of the EPA and their role in stopping California from going beyond the federal limits on carbon emissions. Here's some of the obvious that was confirmed-
A top official at the US Environmental Protection Agency confirmed that the agency denied strong carbon emissions limits proposed by California after the White House intervened, it emerged today.

But the official, who resigned from the agency earlier this month, told congressional investigators that he was instructed not to reveal whether George Bush or other White House officials played a personal role in the controversial blockage of California's pollution rules.

The EPA associate deputy administrator, 31-year-old Jason Burnett, told the oversight committee of the House of Representatives that agency chief Stephen Johnson was prepared to approve a waiver allowing California to set strong limits on greenhouse gas emissions.

Trained staff members at the EPA had unanimously advised Johnson that US clean air laws supported California's plan and that the Bush administration should support it...

...However, Johnson shifted from support for at least a partial waiver in the autumn of last year to a denial of California's request in December. The state would have required a 30% reduction in tailpipe emissions from cars by 2016, dealing a blow to auto industry profits.

When asked whether Johnson spoke with the White House before his position changed, Burnett said: "I believe the answer is yes."

I'm not exactly sure how the White House can honestly justify this, which is likely why they are settling for not saying anything. One of the most frustrating aspects of the Bush years has been how Republicans have made the most seemingly mundane and obvious things-- ie. strong reductions on carbon-- a fight for every inch.

Here is video from those hearings of committee chairman Rep. Waxman doing battle with not only stonewalling EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson, but also GOP Rep. Darrell Issa-


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