Saturday, March 15, 2008

Latest Bush Flouting Of The Law Is Over EPA Ozone Rules

By Manifesto Joe

The Bush administration's contempt for the law involves a litany that goes back pretty much to Jan. 20, 2001, and even before then, if one includes the presidential campaign and an administration-"elect".

Let's add one more outrage to the long, long list. The Washington Post reports that Il Doofus himself intervened in an EPA ozone rules matter this week in an astonishing way:

The Environmental Protection Agency weakened one part of its new limits on smog-forming ozone after an unusual last-minute intervention by President Bush, according to documents released by the EPA.

EPA officials initially tried to set a lower seasonal limit on ozone to protect wildlife, parks and farmland, as required under the law. While their proposal was less restrictive than what the EPA's scientific advisers had proposed, Bush overruled EPA officials and on Tuesday ordered the agency to increase the limit, according to the documents.

"It is unprecedented and an unlawful act of political interference for the president personally to override a decision that the Clean Air Act leaves exclusively to EPA's expert scientific judgment," said John Walke, clean-air director for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The president's order prompted a scramble by administration officials to rewrite the regulations to avoid a conflict with past EPA statements on the harm caused by ozone.

Solicitor General Paul D. Clement warned administration officials late Tuesday night that the rules contradicted the EPA's past submissions to the Supreme Court, according to sources familiar with the conversation. As a consequence, administration lawyers hustled to craft new legal justifications for the weakened standard.


So, where was the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency while this was happening?

WaPo again: The effort to rewrite the language -- on the day the agency faced a statutory deadline -- forced EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson to postpone at the last moment a scheduled news conference to announce the new rules. It finally took place at 6 p.m., five hours later than planned.

This is just one more among hundreds of "outrages of the day" that many have observed about the Bush administration from the beginning. But it brings to mind the disappointment of many who see this conduct for what it is. By now I would have hoped that Dick Cheney would be facing impeachment proceedings, and that the hot seat would be dusted off next for Il Doofus hisownself. But we seem to live in an age in which moral courage is lacking in high places, even among those from whom it was most expected.

To read the entirety of this particular outrage from Il Doofus and the Gang, go here.

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

1 comment:

Brother Tim said...

The King will not stop until the kingdom is in ruins. It will literally take generations to straighten out the damage, if it is even possible.