EPA chief's answers leave Sen. Feinstein frustrated
EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson refused to answer several basic questions about the California decision and his overall plans for dealing with greenhouse gas emissions.
When Feinstein asked Johnson if any top staffer recommended denial, the head of the EPA verbally ducked.
"I received hours of briefings from the technical and legal staff, with a wide range of options — legally defensible options," he said.
"This is unbelievable. You're stonewalling," she said. "The only conclusion I can reach is you are under pressure not to do anything. This is the Environmental Protection Agency — not the administration protection agency."
Memo warned: EPA chief's credibility at riskEPA Administrator Stephen Johnson didn't 'duck' her questions, he lied to Congress. That used to be a crime.
A senior Environmental Protection Agency staffer's newly released memo warned that EPA chief Stephen Johnson would lose his credibility and might have to resign if he rejected California's rules limiting greenhouse gases from cars and trucks.
The document, prepared by a top deputy in the EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality, is further evidence of the fierce internal struggle that Johnson faced before he ruled against California in December.
Documents released earlier revealed that he overruled the unanimous opinion of his agency's legal and technical staff, who urged him to approve the state's rules.
documents previously released by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, show that Transportation Secretary Mary Peters joined Michigan lawmakers to lobby the EPA to reject California's request.
Boxer released other documents Tuesday, including an Oct. 31, 2007, e-mail in which a staffer in the EPA's climate change division wrote about trying to convince Johnson that California has the "compelling and extraordinary conditions" required by the Clean Air Act to set its tougher emissions rules.
How much worse can it get!? I'm so glad you asked:
EPA Head Unaware of Pressures on StatesEPA Johnson is now on record having lied to the Federal Court and to Congress.
The head of the Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday he didn't know of behind-the-scenes efforts by EPA officials to blunt state attempts to reduce mercury emissions from power plants.
Those efforts occurred even as the Bush administration argued in court that states are free to enact tougher mercury controls from power plants
"Has anyone with EPA ever pressured any state against instituting any more restrictive mercury regulation?" asked Leahy, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee.
"I don't recall having any firsthand knowledge of that," said Johnson. "I don't know if they have, no I don't," he added.
Leahy cautioned Johnson that such pressure on states was inappropriate, and if it did occur, "then the EPA gave misleading information to the courts, which is an extremely serious matter."
Internal EPA documents obtained by the advocacy group Environmental Defense show attempts over the past two years to bar state efforts to make their plants drastically cut mercury pollution instead of trading for credits that would let them continue it.
Yet even as the EPA tangled with the states behind the scenes, government lawyers representing the agency were in U.S. District Court in Washington saying states could require more than the federal program. A state restriction on emission allowances "is not a basis for disapproval" of its program by the EPA, the court was told.
But wait, there's more!
EPA: No Timeline for High Court Request
Nearly a year after being told to do so, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday he couldn't say when he would comply with a Supreme Court directive and determine whether greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles should be regulated.
Johnson originally had promised a reply to the court's ruling by last fall.And if you order now we'll include:
EPA Chief Under Fire for Ignoring ScientistsWow, EPA head Johnson not only lied to Congress, lied to a Federal Court, he ignored a command from the Supreme Court.
The vast majority of scientists and other specialists at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have withdrawn from a key labor-management partnership, citing rising distrust of the agency’s chief Stephen Johnson.
In a letter to Administrator Johnson, trade unions representing the workers complain that Johnson retaliates against whistle-blowers and union officers, “abuses our good nature and trust,” and ignores the agency’s Principles of Scientific Integrity.
Johnson has faced mounting criticism from within his own agency and a Congressional investigatory panel for allegedly ignoring scientific findings when they have contradicted the Bush administration’s political aims.
Before Bush there were actual penalties for any and all of those acts. And now the sentence is death. Our deaths.
Cross posted at VidiotSpeak