Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Barbara Boxer is My Hero

You may recall this incident back in January down at the U.S. Senate Environment Committee. At the time, Senator Barbara Boxer took EPA head Stephen Johnson to task for his decision to deny the State of California a waiver allowing them to independently impose stricter GHG emission standards under the Clean Air Act. This, despite the unanimous recommendation by his own staff that the waiver be granted.

At the time, Johnson was taking some pretty extraordinary obstructionist measures to cover his own ass and the asses of his bosses in the Whitehouse - including covering relevant documents with reams of white tape.

Today, Sen. Boxer and her fellow Committee members finally decided they'd had enough and formally called for Administrator Johnson's resignation.

"Mr. Johnson has consistently chosen special interests over the American people's interests in protecting health and safety. He has become a secretive and dangerous ally of polluters, and we cannot stand by and allow more damage to be done. We have lost all confidence in Stephen Johnson's ability to carry out EPA's mission in accordance with the law. I call on Administrator Johnson to immediately resign his position."

On top of all that, they are also calling upon the Attorney General to investigate "inconsistencies" in Johnson's testimony that could potentially lead to charges of perjury.

In sworn testimony before the Committee, Administrator Johnson stated that he based his decision on California's failure to meet criteria required under the Clean Air Act, and said that the decision was "mine and mine alone."

... However, former Associate Deputy Administrator Jason Burnett testified last week that Mr. Johnson had in fact determined that California had met Clean Air Act criteria necessary for approval of the waiver, and had communicated to the Administration that he intended to grant the waiver in part. Mr. Burnett further testified that Administrator Johnson only reversed course and denied the waiver after White House officials informed him of President Bush's "policy preference" for a single regulatory system - even though the Clean Air Act clearly contemplates a dual system in cases where the statutory criteria for the waiver are met.

Wow. It's all starting to come apart, isn't it? Makes you wonder how many other Bush loyalists who were 'just following orders' might find themselves facing charges in the months and years to come.

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