Sunday, January 20, 2008

EPA evades disclosure of documents

By Libby

I have so had it with this administration. Everything is a bloody secret. Now the EPA is citing executive privilege and refusing to provide documentation on why they struck down California's emission laws.
The EPA informed Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., that many of the documents she had requested contained internal deliberations or attorney-client communications that would not be shared now with Congress.

"EPA is concerned about the chilling effect that would occur if agency employees believed their frank and honest opinions and analysis expressed as part of assessing California's waiver request were to be disclosed in a broad setting," EPA's associate administrator Christopher P. Bliley wrote.
Screw the chilling effect. This is a taxpayer funded agency, allegedly working to protect the environment on behalf of the American people. They work for us. We have right to know why they decided no state should be allowed to do better than the federal minimum standard. Furthermore, it's pretty clear that this boils down to a Bush appointed hack doing a end run around the rule of law.
"The documents are going to show the decision remained the responsibility of the administrator," Shradar said. "He stands by his decision." [...]

"Further disclosure of this type of confidential information could jeopardize the agency's ability to effectively litigate claims related to California's waiver request," the EPA's Bliley wrote.
Sixteen states got tired of waiting for this administration to take climate disruption seriously and took matters into their own hands. They shouldn't have to sue to do so. This is the kind of "big government" interference I wish the "small government" types would pay attention to. They're always obsessing about entitlement programs, which should be a function of the feds. We need minimum standards on a national level. But they won't say a word against this kind of inappropriate federal overreach, because it's good for business.

Unfortunately, it's bad for America and it drives me crazy that they can't see the difference.

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