Friday, July 25, 2008


Well, that's what this story sounds like, anyway:
The White House in December refused to accept the Environmental Protection Agency’s conclusion that greenhouse gases are pollutants that must be controlled, telling agency officials that an e-mail message containing the document would not be opened, senior E.P.A. officials said last week.

The document, which ended up in e-mail limbo, without official status, was the E.P.A.’s answer to a 2007 Supreme Court ruling that required it to determine whether greenhouse gases represent a danger to health or the environment, the officials said.

This week, more than six months later, the E.P.A. is set to respond to that order by releasing a watered-down version of the original proposal that offers no conclusion. Instead, the document reviews the legal and economic issues presented by declaring greenhouse gases a pollutant.

Nice. I wonder why that might be? Well, a former EPA official, Jason Burnett, thinks he knows:

More details are emerging about the maneuvers that blocked the Environmental Protection Agency’s finding that greenhouse gases were a threat to public health and welfare and should be regulated.

White House officials initially blessed the agency’s efforts to create a basis for restricting emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas produced by human activities, but reversed course after passage of an energy bill last December, a former agency official has told a Congressional committee. He said the White House was won over by the argument, pushed by oil companies and others, that such regulation should not be part of the Bush legacy,

The official, Jason K. Burnett, once a Bush appointee and now an Obama supporter, told the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming that the argument for putting off any carbon dioxide limits was made by “individuals working for particular oil companies, Exxon Mobil,” as well as oil industry trade associations.

From here. Not a huge surprise that this sort of thing happens, of course, but it's great that this got out. Here's hoping the story goes viral.

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