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Invisiblebukkake
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How Bush team fought California's emissions plan
    #7450941 - 09/25/07 11:01 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters, with the knowledge of the White House, directed a behind-the-scenes effort to block California's request for its own, more stringent tailpipe emission standard, according to documents released Monday by a congressional committee.

A trail of e-mails, revealing a much higher level of administration involvement than previously reported, shows Peters prodding her staff this spring to persuade members of Congress and state governors to oppose California's request, which would reduce greenhouse gas emissions. That request is now pending with the Environmental Protection Agency. To contact members, Transportation Department staffers used a list of congressional districts with auto facilities provided by the auto industry.

Secretary Peters "asked that we develop some ideas a.s.a.p. about facilitating a pushback from governors (esp. D's) and others opposed to piecemeal regulation of emissions, as per CA's waiver petition," Jeff Shane, Peters' undersecretary for policy, told staffers in a May 22 e-mail about the California request. "Esp. D's" meant "especially Democrats."

In another e-mail, a Transportation Department staffer told Peters' chief of staff that Marty Hall, chief of staff at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, was "OK with (the secretary) making calls" to lobby Congress.

The e-mails were released Monday by Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Oversight Committee. Waxman, a Los Angeles Democrat, said the documents, along with interviews with Hall and other staffers, showed that "the administration is trying to stack the deck against California's efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles" and that "political considerations - not the merits of the issue" - will determine the EPA's decision.

Waxman's committee revealed three months ago that Transportation Department staffers had made calls to the Hill, suggesting that members weigh in with the EPA against the California request. But Monday's documents demonstrate an even greater level of administration involvement, with Peters pushing the lobbying effort and offering to call members of Congress.

'Hoping to solicit comments'

Simon Gros, former Transportation Department deputy chief of staff, told the committee that five department staffers contacted 20 to 25 members of Congress, and that Peters personally called two to four governors. The e-mails also show that Peters talked several times with the head of the EPA, Stephen Johnson, about the issue.

Gros told the committee: "We were hoping to solicit comments against the California waiver."

In a statement from Peters' office, the department defended the lobbying effort as "legal, appropriate and consistent with our long-held position on this issue," that states should not be allowed to set their own fuel economy standards.

California is allowed under the Clean Air Act to set its own emissions standards if it secures a waiver from the EPA. At least 11 other states are waiting to adopt the California standard, designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent from new models in 2016.

California made its request of the EPA in 2005, and Johnson has said he will make his decision before the end of the year after "a rigorous analysis."

That schedule has not satisfied the state's top officials. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who asked Johnson to approve the waiver, announced in April that the state will sue by late October to seek the enforcement authority if the EPA has not made a decision.

"Regardless of the pressure and lobbying taking place, we expect the EPA to follow through and allow what California can do under the Clean Air Act," said Aaron McLear, the governor's spokesman.

Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the state's Air Resources Board that made the waiver request, said: "We're deeply disappointed to hear of confirmed reports of back-room maneuvering to deny our request. We will move ahead with our lawsuit if the EPA fails to act in the next few weeks."

Waxman asked the White House to repudiate the lobbying effort, but a spokeswoman for the Council on Environmental Quality, Kristen Hellmer, said the agency did not object to "outreach" by the Transportation Department on the overall issue of fuel standards. Hellmer also said the environmental council, which advises the White House and federal agencies on environmental policies, had not taken a position on the California waiver.

Hall, the council's chief of staff, "did not confirm or deny White House involvement, and said he could not remember specifics," Waxman said.

The committee has not yet sought any documents from the White House or EPA on this issue.

Full disclosure

Waxman said that while the Transportation Department effort did not violate anti-lobbying rules, Peters and other top officials should have made their positions public, as did hundreds of other officials, groups and citizens who participated in two public hearings and filed statements with the EPA.

The e-mails show that some department staffers were concerned about the propriety of the lobbying campaign, even as Peters was pressuring the staff to make more contacts.

"Simon, we are a bit concerned about the conversation on this task - appears to sound more like lobbying," staffer Heideh Shahmoradi wrote Gros in an e-mail. "I have already made a bunch of calls - looking back, I may have said more than I should have."

The e-mails also show an ongoing relationship between the Transportation Department, several members of Congress and the auto industry. Gros, in one e-mail, told Peters that the staff of Rep. Joe Knollenberg, R-Mich., "is going to ping other members of the automotive caucus for us. My staff this morning called just about every auto-friendly member of this issue."

Environmental groups said the revelations about the Transportation Department lobbying would add to the pressure on the EPA to make a non-political decision. Earlier this month, a federal judge in Vermont ruled that states can set their own emissions standards under the Clean Air Act, despite opposition from the auto industry.

The Congressional Research Service, a non-partisan arm of Congress, also found in a report last month that California "appears to have a strong case" for its request.

Frank O'Donnell, who heads Clean Air Watch in Washington, predicted "these revelations will make it harder for EPA to turn down California's request because it will appear as if the fix was in from the beginning."



http://www.mercurynews.com/healthandscience/ci_6991738

The Bush administration's bizarre obsession with destroying the environment continues.


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Offlinelonestar2004
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Re: How Bush team fought California's emissions plan [Re: bukkake]
    #7451036 - 09/25/07 11:32 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Bush should leave California ALONE!

Soon all of California's industry will move somewhere where they can do business. Let those IDIOTS freeze and starve to death in the dark!

P.S. I just spent a month vacationing in California. (Yosemite, San Fran, HWY One, San Diego.) What a beautiful state! Unfortunately the PEOPLE SUCK! (I did meet a few cool dudes in Humbolt county) otherwise Californians are rude assholes....


--------------------
America's debt problem is a "sign of leadership failure"

We have "reckless fiscal policies"

America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership.

Americans deserve better

Barack Obama


Edited by lonestar2004 (09/25/07 11:34 AM)


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: How Bush team fought California's emissions plan [Re: lonestar2004]
    #7451073 - 09/25/07 11:41 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

I bet they were rude... you were bringing them down. :smirk: They live in the future and they were like "Who is this guy... did we somehow wander into a museum?" :lol:


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Offlinelonestar2004
Live to party,work to affordit.
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Re: How Bush team fought California's emissions plan [Re: fireworks_god]
    #7451139 - 09/25/07 11:55 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

:grin:


--------------------
America's debt problem is a "sign of leadership failure"

We have "reckless fiscal policies"

America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership.

Americans deserve better

Barack Obama


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Invisibleafoaf
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Registered: 11/08/02
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Re: How Bush team fought California's emissions plan [Re: lonestar2004]
    #7451396 - 09/25/07 01:12 PM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

lonestar2004 said:
otherwise Californians are rude assholes....




We can smell tourists...and we don't like them.


--------------------
All I know is The Growery is a place where losers who get banned here go.


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OfflineBrAiN
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Registered: 03/01/01
Posts: 6,875
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Re: How Bush team fought California's emissions plan [Re: afoaf]
    #7454679 - 09/26/07 09:19 AM (13 years, 5 months ago)

Sorta off topic, but I wonder why ppl give Arnold such a hard time. He was crap his first year in office as governer but look at the shit he's doing now like trying to cut emissions and doing all the shit America is too lazy to do.

You have to give a politician credit when he fucks up and the people are against him and he says "OOPS! I FUCKED UP. I'll TRY HARDER" and actually DOES.


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