Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Philadelphia Inquirer calls EPA's Steve Johnson "a rat," the ugly return of "Smokey Joe" Barton, and more..

YOU DOITY RAT! -- If you haven’t read it already, I heartily commend your attention to the wonderful, tell-it-like-it-is editorial in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer in which EPA head Steve Johnson is described as “a rat” for his odious behavior on the soot issue. Where is Hamlet when we really need him? (III,iv,23) Seriously, why are our other major papers snoozing on this issue?

RED-PEN RETURNING? Speaking of the EPA soot decision, the agency still has not released the official “regulatory impact analysis” for the soot rule. Does that mean the green eye-shade people at the White House Office of Management and Budget are still taking a red pen to the document, which should be completed today?

Let’s keep an eye out, by the way, for references to the new study, which found that the death toll from particle soot was higher than noted in EPA’s official propaganda. We are wondering why EPA has told people on Capitol Hill that this document is a “draft” – when it says “Final Report” on the cover?

SMOKEY JOE LIGHTS UP -- The various legal briefs are streaming in for the upcoming Supreme Court case on new source review, which will be argued in November. One of the more interesting “friend of the court” briefs has been filed by Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee (at least through the end of the year). Barton, christened “Smokey Joe” by the Dallas Morning News, took a predictable, pro-polluter position. What’s interesting is that his brief was written by some fellows with an outfit called “Frontiers of Freedom” – this would be a bogus think tank underwritten by ExxonMobil and other miscreants. At least Barton is consistent.

FINALLY SOME GOOD NEWS! – As you probably know, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger plans to sign California’s global warming initiative into law today. This is truly a landmark development. State initiatives like this will be vital as long as DC remains in the clutches of those mentioned earlier in this note.

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