As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, March 13, 2008

EPA Run Like A Crappy Pawn Shop - Only Without The Dignity

I think the saddest thing is that the EPA is not necessarily the worst-run agency in the federal government. It just looks that way.

Last week, we noted that Johnson seemed to be ignoring a decision by the Supreme Court. The Court said the EPA could no longer avoid deciding whether greenhouse gases were pollutants covered by the Clean Air Act. But almost one year later, Johnson still hasn't released an official determination.

But as Waxman has found out -- and as he detailed in a letter to Johnson yesterday -- the EPA has already done all the necessary work. EPA employees told his staff in interviews that a team of 60 to 70 hashed it out last year and actually sent it to the White House in December (the EPA, of course, found that greenhouse gases did endanger public welfare). They also produced new regulations to reduce CO2 emissions from cars and trucks and sent that off to the Department of Transportation. But since then, nothing has been heard. It's just sitting on the shelf.

And as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) discovered when she asked Johnson how many staff are currently working on the greenhouse gas decision, there are none (unless you count Johnson himself).

Meanwhile, the EPA "tightened" its rules on the federal smog standard - if by "tightened" you mean "overruling the unanimous advice of its scientific advisory council for a more protective standard."

And Stephen Johnson has the, well, we Jews would call it chutzpah, to say this:

“I’ve made the most health-protective eight-hour ozone decision in the nation’s history,” said Mr. Johnson. The Clean Air Act requires periodic review, and the announcement Wednesday updates a standard from 1997.

And as I said, this is NOT the worst-run agency under Bush. In fact, I think they're all tied for last.

UPDATE: Apparently Bush intervened to kill protections of forests and crops. He's like a one-man wrecking ball, ay?

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