A number of news sources now point to the fact that Dick Cheney was heavily involved in the EPA’s recent decision to try to void California’s, Washington’s and 15 other state’s attempts to enact Clean Car Legislation to restrict car emissions.
Last Thursday from Los Angeles Times 12/20/2007
“Johnson said California’s request was unlike others that had been granted by his agency that covered “pollutants that predominantly impacted local and regional air quality.”
He said the EPA acted after he and his staff reviewed more than 100,000 written comments and “thousands of pages of technical and scientific documentation.”
Asked if there was White House influence, Johnson said, “My decision was an independent decision.”
Last Friday from Los Angeles Times 12/21/2007
“The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ignored his staff’s written findings in denying California’s request for a waiver to implement its landmark law to slash greenhouse gases from vehicles, sources inside and outside the agency told The Times on Thursday.”California met every criteria . . . on the merits. The same criteria we have used for the last 40 years on all the other waivers,” said an EPA staffer. “We told him that. All the briefings we have given him laid out the facts.”” …
…three sources said, Johnson cut off any consultation with his technical staff for the last month and made his decision before having them write the formal, legal justification for it. “It’s very highly unusual,” said one source with close ties to the agency.Normally the technical staff would be part of the final decision-making process, including briefing the administrator and writing the formal legal document before his decision. In this case, the briefings were done, but the formal finding has yet to be drafted. …
Some staff members believe Johnson made his decision after auto executives met with Vice President Dick Cheney and after a Chrysler executive delivered a letter to the White House outlining why neither California nor the EPA should be allowed to regulate greenhouse gases, among other reasons. The Detroit News reported Wednesday that chief executives of Ford and Chrysler met with Cheney last month.”Clearly the White House said, ‘We’re going to get EPA out of the way and get California out of the way. If you give us this energy bill, then we’re done, the deal is done,’ ” said one staffer.”
Detroit News November 2, 2007:
Vice President Dick Cheney met with the CEOs of Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC in recent days in the wake of a push on Capitol Hill for dramatically higher fuel economy requirements.
Cheney met Wednesday with Chrysler Chairman and CEO Robert Nardelli and on Oct. 24 with Ford Motor Co. president and CEO Alan R. Mulally, officials told The Detroit News. … The companies declined to confirm or deny the meetings. Lea Anne McBride, a spokeswoman for Cheney, declined to comment.
Numerous other meetings have taken place between automobile representatives and the Bush Administration. In fact the White House even has a picture posted on its website from last year. President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney meet with automotive CEOs Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2006, in the Oval Office. The automobile industry has opposed higher fuel efficiency standards for the last 20 years. In the past they also opposed seat belts, higher collision standards and air bags.
Cheney has been Bush’s point person on stopping efforts to increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions from cars and trucks. For almost seven years they held off efforts to protect the health of our families, cities and our environment. For those naysayers in the press and other who try to equate the Democratic Congress with the previous Republican run Congress, let me tell you – there is no comparison.
The just passed energy bill which increased fuel efficiency standards and set up efficiency standards for appliances was a step that only a Democratic Congress was going to pass. They did it despite the efforts of Bush and Cheney and the Republicans to stop it.
The Clean Car legislation from California and Washington State and other states goes even further. The refusal by EPA’s Johnson to grant the waiver to move ahead with tougher emissions standards is going to be challenged in Court. The people want action to deal with global warming and climate change, not the obstruction coming from the Republicans and Bush and Cheney.
But being a Democrat I suppose I should not fret too much. Each action by Bush and Cheney to delay action on global warming only makes a stronger case for why people need to vote Democratic in the 2008 elections. Change is needed away from the corporate oligarchy that Bush and the Republicans have tried to impose on America. Its time to take the country back from the corporations.