Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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July 11, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

KICKING THE CAN DOWN THE ROAD....The Washington Post reports today that the Bush administration has decided to run out the clock on the EPA's finding that greenhouse gases endanger public welfare:

The decision to solicit further comment overrides the EPA's written recommendation from December. Officials said a few senior White House officials were unwilling to allow the EPA to state officially that global warming harms human welfare...."They argued that this increase in regulation should be on the next president's record," not Bush's, said a participant in the lengthy interagency debate, referring principally to officials in the office of Vice President Cheney, on the White House Council on Environmental Quality, on the National Economic Council and in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

....The proposal that the EPA will unveil today, known as an advance notice of proposed rulemaking, stands in stark contrast to the agency's original Dec. 5 finding — backed up by a lengthy scientific analysis — that global warming is unequivocal, that there is "compelling and robust" evidence that the emissions endanger public welfare and that the EPA administrator is "required by law" to act to protect Americans from future harm.

....The full story of how the finding of public endangerment and Bush's promised greenhouse regulations got sidetracked is still not known. Participants have not disclosed, for example, which White House official ordered an EPA deputy associate administrator to withdraw the finding last December after it was transmitted by e-mail to [Susan] Dudley's office. An official said the person involved was "more senior than the head of OMB," but declined to be more precise.

Well, hell, why so coy? It's a cabinet level position. The only people in the White House senior to the head of OMB are the president, the vice president, and the chief of staff. Anyone want to take a guess about which one was the ringleader in chief of this episode?

Kevin Drum 1:17 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (19)

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Comments

Whatever happened to government for the people? What ever is wrong about knowing who makes the decisions around this joint?

Posted by: MobiusKlein on July 11, 2008 at 1:44 AM | PERMALINK

Short circuit his pacemaker.

"The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher regard those who think alike than those who think differently." - Nietzsche

Posted by: daCascadian on July 11, 2008 at 2:08 AM | PERMALINK

Well, when the top two politicians in the country are bought and paid for by big oil and big coal, global warming is kind of like the crazy relative they have hidden up in the attic.

He/she is up there, making tons of noise, kicking holes in the walls, starting fires and the rest of the family is trying to hide it despite the fact that the whole neighborhood is on to them, lol.

Posted by: tripoley on July 11, 2008 at 6:37 AM | PERMALINK

The ironical thing here is that President* Bush has expended this much energy and political capital, over the course of two full terms, to avoid fulfilling a promise he made as a candidate eight years ago.

Posted by: jhm on July 11, 2008 at 6:50 AM | PERMALINK

Well, at least his Death Star isn't fully functional yet.

Oh, hell!

Posted by: Ranger Jay on July 11, 2008 at 8:00 AM | PERMALINK

What happened to the words "facts" and "proof?"

As "Orwell" demonstrates, movement conservatives proved immune to both.

Posted by: Gregory on July 11, 2008 at 8:02 AM | PERMALINK

"We are more in danger of having our country caught on fire by California than global warming taking a single life."

Good old Orwell, card carrying member of the Flat Earth Society.

Posted by: Al Gore on July 11, 2008 at 8:39 AM | PERMALINK

You have to hand it to them. Every time you think they have run out of stupidly evil things to do, they come up with another way of screwing up on purpose.

And Orwell, that's like saying we're more likely to get hit by an SUV than to have a traffic accident.

Posted by: anandine on July 11, 2008 at 8:40 AM | PERMALINK


Our country is run by a cabal of serial mass-murderers. Will they lose sleep over some harm to human welfare?

I guess Cheney is the serial-mass-murderer-in-chief.

Posted by: Jesus Wept on July 11, 2008 at 8:44 AM | PERMALINK

Orwell says this as a major ice shelf is ready to fall into the ocean in Antarctica. An ice shelf that , according to the global warming models, was due to fall off in 30 years, not tomorrow.

Posted by: lou on July 11, 2008 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

An ice shelf that , according to the global warming models, was due to fall off in 30 years, not tomorrow.

...proving that your so-called scientific "models" ain't any good.

/sarcasm

Posted by: Jeff S. on July 11, 2008 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

Orwell: "We are more in danger of having our country caught on fire by California than global warming taking a single life."

And there's NO CONNECTION between the unusually hot, dry weather in California and the wildfires. Oh, and we're in more danger of being killed by a tornado or unusually severe hurricane than of being killed by global warming. And people around the world will die of starvation due to food shortages caused by climate changes than will ever die from global warming!! So there.

Posted by: cowalker on July 11, 2008 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

Add this to the ever increasing list of evil and criminal activities perpetrated by this gang of lowlifes.

Posted by: Gandalf on July 11, 2008 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

It's our own fault. They warned us. When gay marriage became legal the whole civilization would go to hell. And did we listen....

Posted by: JohnMcC on July 11, 2008 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

We are more in danger of having our country caught on fire by California than global warming taking a single life. Posted by: Orwell

Asshole, global warming, in the form of Hurricane Katrina and an increase in wildfires nation-wide, has already taken several thousand lives in the U.S.

Any chance of you getting run over by a bus or hit by lightening this weekend?

Posted by: Jeff II on July 11, 2008 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

Not that I agree with Orwell, but JeffII, no one single weather event, such as Hurricane Katrina, can be attributed to global warming. Even James Hansen won't do that.

Posted by: optical weenie on July 11, 2008 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

"No one single weather event, such as Hurricane Katrina, can be attributed to global warming"

That's a favorite of the global warming deniers. If you take any weather event as an isloated phenomenon, you can explain it away. But if you look at the larger picture-the hottest years on record, artic ice melt, more frequent and more severe tornadoes and thunderstorms, more frequent floods, warmer water temps causing more severe hurricanes, drought leading to more intense forest fires and a year-round fire season-why that looks just like what the scientists predicted global warming would look like. Maybe when that tornado is heading your way, you'll get a different perspective. But then, it will be too late.

Posted by: James G on July 11, 2008 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you forgot that the Vice President is "attached" to the legislative branch according to his version of the Constitution !

Posted by: H-Bob on July 11, 2008 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

> "The only people in the White House senior to the head of OMB are the president, the vice president, and the chief of staff."

Woah! Time out! The Chief of Staff is senior to the head of OMB? Pull the other one...

Posted by: kiweagle on July 11, 2008 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK
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