White House dithers on greenhouse gases
The White House has dismissed the recommendations of its experts and refused to regulate greenhouse gases.
ADD regulation of greenhouse gases to the to-do list for the next occupant of the White House. After 15 months of dithering on a Supreme Court order to decide whether carbon dioxide and other gas pollutants harm public health and welfare, or to come up with a good reason for not deciding, the Bush administration stubbornly refused to do either.
Instead, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a nearly 600-page federal notice and asked for public comment, saying developing regulations would be too difficult and time-consuming for the White House and that Congress should do the heavy lifting.
EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson likened his agency's establishing rules to walking across the entire country while for Congress, it would be like flying the distance on a supersonic jet.
The absurdity is that for most of the past seven years, President Bush has dismissed global warming as a false notion against overwhelming evidence. When the court ruled the administration had the authority to regulate greenhouse gases through the Clean Air Act, it began a pretense of compliance.
It took a perverse path. To get the results it wanted, the administration dismissed findings of its top scientists, economists and legal experts, suppressed congressional testimony, ignored e-mailed reports containing recommendations and conclusions by EPA staff, edited and cut analytical reports and altered economic models to reduce benefits of curbing gases -- even to the point of lowering the worth of an American's life so it could argue the benefits weren't worth the costs.
After all the machinations, the administration still wasn't satisfied and ended up repudiating its own proposals.
A White House spokeswoman said while Bush is committed to reducing greenhouse gases, there is a "right way and a wrong way." By doing nothing, he has chosen the latter.
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