Monday, September 24, 2007

Rep. Waxman calls on White House to repudiate ugly lobbying blitz against California greenhosue gas standards

A lively day on the climate front, with President Bush skipping all but the dinner of today’s UN meeting. (Food-centric, perhaps?)

But there is another interesting and important development:

You may recall the mini-scandal of a few months ago, in which the US Department of Transportation was caught lobbying members of Congress to oppose California’s attempt to secure US Environmental Protection Agency approval of its landmark greenhouse gas standards for motor vehicles. (Those standards, of course, are a crucial component in the fight against global warming because they have been adopted by so many other states.)

You may also recall DOT’s efforts to stonewall a congressional investigation http://oversight.house.gov/story.asp?ID=1393

Now Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, has released results of his panel’s investigation of this ugly scandal. http://oversight.house.gov/story.asp?ID=1495

IT turns out that Transportation Secretary Mary Peters personally directed this lobbying blitz – apparently with the White House’s blessing!

In a letter today to CEQ head James Connaughton, http://oversight.house.gov/documents/20070924105804.pdf

Waxman calls on the White House to repudiate this effort. (“not an appropriate use of taxpayers’ dollars…”)

Thank goodness someone is playing the watchdog role over this ugly business. Fancy toasts at some dinner can’t obfuscate the truth -- that the Bush administration has been trying to protect the auto industry.

The White House ought to stop playing politics – and permit California and the other states to move ahead with these critical greenhouse gas standards.

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