Bush Passes the Buck on Global Warming

Adding one final insult to nearly eight years of injury, the Bush
administration continued to defy the Supreme Court today by issuing a
request for additional comments–an Advanced Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking-on global warming regulations, rather than the so-called
"endangerment determination" that the Court’s ruling in Massachusetts v. EPA compelled and senior Environmental Protection Agency officials had argued for.

"If our nation is truly serious about regulating greenhouse gases, the
Clean Air Act is the wrong tool for the job," EPA Administrator Stephen
Johnson told reporters. "It is really at the feet of Congress." 

A front-page report
in the Washington Post today details the tireless efforts of senior
political appointees in the administration to prevent global warming
regulations from being in put in place under President Bush.

David Bookbinder, Chief Climate Counsel for the Sierra Club,
said, "Today’s action caps off eight years of catastrophic negligence
on the part of an increasingly irrelevant administration, and removes
whatever shadow of a doubt that may have existed about whether it was
going to fail to live up to its obligations to the American public, the
law, and the Supreme Court to do something real on global warming. The
American public, Congress, world leaders, and even career government
officials are counting down the days until this administration leaves
town and a new president undoes the damage done by President Bush and
makes up for nearly a decade of lost time–time we didn’t have to waste
in the first place. And the first thing the next administration will do
is toss the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking into the circular

He continued: "Stephen Johnson should have left his post long
ago, but today’s action underscores his complete and utter lack of
credibility. Johnson will be remembered not for his decades of public
service, but rather for his unswerving fealty to the misguided policies
of a failed administration."

And finally: "This global warming melodrama has all the set
pieces of classic Bush administration political theater: politics
coming before science, outright deception of the American public and
Congressional investigators, willful disregard for the law and courts,
and political meddling at the highest levels to protect favored special
interests–with the dark hand of the Vice President visible throughout.
Thankfully this drama is near the end of its final act."

Lexi Shultz, deputy director of Union of Concerned Scientists’
Climate Program, said, "In keeping with President Bush’s flippant
remark at the end of the G-8 summit–‘Goodbye from the world’s biggest
polluter’–the EPA today refused to address global warming. By ignoring
calls for action from scientists and the public at large, EPA
Administrator Johnson is passing this monumental problem off to the
next administration. Meanwhile, the world is waiting for the United
States to take bold leadership. The science is clear, the legal
authority is there, and the solutions are at hand. Sadly, the legacy of
this White House is eight years of obstruction, denial, and delay."

The White House Press Secretary released a statement saying that
"In April 2008, the President warned that the Clean Air Act and other
existing statutes were the wrong way to address climate change, as they
were designed to deal with local and regional pollutants, not global
greenhouse gases."

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