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Facing Clear Climate Statement, Bush WH Wouldn't Even Open Email - ADA Resigned, But Not EPA Chief

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 12:20 PM
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Facing Clear Climate Statement, Bush WH Wouldn't Even Open Email - ADA Resigned, But Not EPA Chief
WASHINGTON - On Dec. 5, 2007, EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson prepared to send the White House an extraordinary document. It declared that climate change imperiled the public welfare - a decision that would trigger the nation's first mandatory global-warming regulations. Johnson, a career scientist, knew that his draft would meet with resistance from antiregulatory ideologues at the White House, but he believed the science was solid.

According to confidential records reviewed by The Inquirer, Johnson cited strong evidence: rises in sea level, extreme hot and cold days, ecosystem changes, melting glaciers, and more. Minor doubts about long-term effects, he wrote, were not enough to alter his conclusion. Two sentences in Johnson's draft stood out. In sum: The U.S. emits more greenhouse gases from cars than most countries do from all pollution sources. This fact is so compelling that it alone supports The Administrator's finding. At 2:10 p.m., Associate Deputy Administrator Jason Burnett e-mailed the climate-change draft to the White House as an attachment. What happened next became Johnson's defining moment and cemented President Bush's environmental legacy, serving as the low-water mark of a tumultuous era that has left the EPA badly wounded, largely demoralized and, in many ways, emasculated.

White House aides - who had long resisted mandatory regulations as a way to address climate change - knew the gist of what Johnson's finding would be, Burnett said. They also knew that once they opened the attachment, it would become a public record, making it too controversial to rescind. So they didn't open it. They called Johnson and asked him to take it back. The law clearly stated that the final decision was the EPA administrator's, not Bush's. Johnson initially resisted - something Burnett admired - but ultimately did as he was told. Outraged, Burnett resigned.

In July, Johnson issued a new, censored version, a pale imitation of the original climate-change document. The old muscular language - including key sentences about U.S. car emissions and the irrelevance of any lingering doubt - was gone. Most of all, the new document no longer declared global warming a danger to public welfare. The move effectively postponed any strong action on climate change well into the next administration.

EDIT

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/front_page/20081207_An_E...
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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:37 PM
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1. K&ARRRRRRRRRR. Bu**sh** can leave now; the damage is done. nt
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:54 PM
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2. Evil..Just plain evil..
-Too bad the original memo could not have been cc'd to Al Gore or someone of that ilk.
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DeepModem Mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 11:15 PM
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3. K&R
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