Interference by Bush Administration in EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Rule Is Unconscionable

July 11, 2008

Interference by Bush Administration in EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Rule Is Unconscionable

Statement of Joan Claybrook, President of Public Citizen

A notice issued today by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about regulating greenhouse gases will do nothing to curb global warming. Instead of issuing a rule, the Bush administration has chosen to delay the matter by seeking public comment, thereby ensuring the issue will not be dealt with until a new administration comes to town.

We don’t have time to waste. Our planet is heating up, with disastrous consequences. The scientific consensus suggests that action should be swift, and even the U.S. Supreme Court, in a strongly worded decision issued in April 2007, resolved the issue of whether the EPA had the authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. The EPA should have responded properly.

The EPA’s notice has been heavily edited in an interagency review and is accompanied by letters from representatives of the Office of Management and Budget, as well as the Secretaries of Transportation, Commerce, Agriculture and Energy. Amazingly, the letters express misgivings about regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, erroneously saying that it is an ill-suited means of combating climate change.

We repeatedly have seen that leaving industry to regulate itself does not advance public health and safety. The interference of the White House in this process is unconscionable, and its decision to run out the clock rather than take action during its tenure in office is a disgrace.

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