The Environmental Protection Agency (Orwellian doublespeak in its current incarnation) seems to be having its own lame duck problems during the final months of the current American regime. The latest two attacks come from the non-executive parts of the federal government itself.
A federal appeals court decision said the EPA was wrong in its lenient rules on mercury from power plant emissions. Looking at the EPA's decision to allow higher mercury pollution into the atmosphere, the court wrote, "This explanation deploys the logic of the Queen of Hearts, substituting EPA's desires for the plain text." The court said the EPA violated federal laws by allowing power plants to put out too much mercury. We have long known mercury poisoning can lead to "mad hatter" behavior. Perhaps those EPA adnministrators have been sniffing too much power plant emission?
Meanwhile both branches of Congress are after the EPA and its internal records. This is the on-going battle over states' rights to have tougher anti-pollution laws than those of the federal government. In the past Califonria and other states have passed anti-emissions standards tougher than the national, but this time around the EPA refused to grant California its waiver to continue that practice. Both the U.S. House and Senate are now investigating, and demanding records concerning the EPA ruling and communications with the White House.
The EPA has refused to release such records, of course. It's now known that the EPA staff recommended the agency approve California's waiver. The EPA staff concluded vehicle emissions are contributing to global warming. The political appointees running the EPA overlooked the staff report and ruled against California. Now the battle over the EPA's secret records is going to the subpoena stage.
This battle over vehicle emissions is reaching across the political landscape of America. It may be the lawyers' full employment act. Florida just became the 17th state to join the lawsuit against the EPA and on the side of California which sued on January 2nd to uphold its state law against the EPA waiver denial. But the EPA got some more help on its side as well. You'll never guess who's joining the EPA...well, maybe you will. It's the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers. They don't want to have to build the same cars for America that they already have to build to suit regulations in Japan and Europe.
BLOGOSPHERE AND THE EPA
It shouldn't be surprising that the intense political wrangling over air pollution would finally waft into the blogopshere. After all, even we bloggers breathe once in a while. Air R us.
Well, an EPA blogger just got massive flame from an activist group of scientists. You can see this EPA-hosted blog here, with nearly 600 comments, thanks to the concerted blogottack. All brought on by the EPA's refusal to let California be California. Not to mention New York, Florida, et al.