Saturday, January 19, 2008

Following Dick Cheney's lead

GTA: Vice President

The EPA declares executive privilege and refuses to explain why it said no for the first time in 32 years to California's greenhouse gas regulations:

Invoking executive privilege, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency refused to provide lawmakers Friday with a full explanation of why it rejected California's greenhouse gas regulations.

The EPA informed Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., that many of the documents she had requested contained internal deliberations or attorney-client communications that would not be shared with Congress.

"EPA is concerned about the chilling effect that would occur if agency employees believed their frank and honest opinions and analysis expressed as part of assessing California's waiver request were to be disclosed in a broad setting," EPA Associate Administrator Christopher Bliley wrote.

More than a week after a deadline set by Boxer, the agency gave the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, which she chairs, a box of papers with large portions of the relevant documents deleted, Boxer said. The documents omitted key details, including a presentation that, according to Senate aides, predicted EPA would lose a lawsuit if it was taken to court for denying California's waiver.

The refusal to provide a full explanation is the latest twist in a congressional investigation into why the EPA denied California permission to impose what would have been the country's toughest greenhouse gas standards on cars, trucks and sport utility vehicles.

Via Nicole Belle of Crooks and Liars, Think Progress points out that Vice President Dick Cheney met with automakers before the EPA denied California's waver. Gee... doesn't this sound familiar?

Anything to keep us guzzling that 100 dollar a barrel crude, huh, Dick?
(crossposted at Rants from the Rookery)

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