The White House, on its way out to the dustbin of history,1 wants to gut the Clean Air Act before the end of the year. Lovely.
WASHINGTON — The White House is trying to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from publishing a document that could become the legal roadmap for regulating greenhouse-gas emissions in the U.S., said people close to the matter.
The fight over the document is the latest development in a long-running conflict between the EPA and the White House over climate-change policy. It will likely intensify ongoing Congressional investigations into the Bush administration’s involvement in the agency’s policymaking.
The draft document, which has been viewed by The Wall Street Journal, outlines how the government, under the Clean Air Act, could regulate greenhouse-gas emissions from mobile sources such as cars, trucks, trains, planes and boats, and from stationary sources such as power stations, chemical plants and refineries. The document is based on a multimillion-dollar study conducted over two years.
The White House’s Office of Management and Budget has asked the EPA to delete sections of the document that say such emissions endanger public welfare, say how those gases could be regulated, and show an analysis of the cost of regulating greenhouse gases in the U.S. and other countries.
Non WSJ subscribers use this Digg-enabled link to full article which includes some colorful charts.
Cheney wants to ensure his oil buddies won’t have to alter any of their polluting practices until after the Rapture:
“Clearly [White House officials] don’t want to leave behind a blueprint that suggests that the Clean Air Act could offer a potential pathway in a cost-effective way to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions,” said one of the people close to the matter who supports the EPA document’s analysis. “Leaving a blueprint behind could leave the next administration a document they could work from, and that’s not in their interest,” the person said.
If the agency establishes a policy direction in this phase of the rule-making but later changes direction in the proposed rule, it could create opportunities for legal challenges under the Administrative Procedures Act, said Peter Robertson, a former deputy administrator at the EPA and a partner at the Pillsbury law firm specializing in environmental public policy.
“There wouldn’t be a reason for OMB to monkey with this document if it weren’t going to be an important step in the process now and later on,” Mr. Robertson said.
- and that’s being very kind [↩]