Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Senate backs down (again) from climate bill; EPA steps up

Posted By on Wed, Aug 4, 2010 at 11:47 AM

It's an election year, so, of course, our representatives in Washington are watching their every move. And, for some reason, they seem to be more concerned with avoiding any chance of offending giant corporations, with their deep, deep financial pockets, than they are with doing what's right for our country ... and the average everyday folks like you and me.

We know we've got a climate problem. We know big business doesn't want to change their polluting ways, 'cause that'll cost money — money they'd prefer to shove into their personal pockets. We know it's usually the poorest folks who suffer the worst from a lack of environmental legislation.

So, really, it should be no surprise to read headlines like "U.S. Senate delays action on scaled-back energy bill" when there's an election less than three months away. I mean, heaven forbid our elected officials actually do their job without worrying about their own political careers. What are we thinking, that the Senate actually works for us?! Bahahahaha.

Fortunately, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should give two toots about the upcoming election or what corporate polluters want, so it's flexing its muscles ... muscles which, by the way, damn near completely atrophied during the W. Bush years.

The Environmental Protection Agency Thursday rejected an effort to keep it from regulating greenhouse gas emissions, saying that e-mails released in last fall’s “Climategate” scandal gave it no reason to reconsider the science of global warming.

In a sternly written opinion, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said she didn’t agree with requests from the GOP attorneys general from Texas and Virginia, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other conservative groups that questioned the underlying science linking humans to global warming and also warned of the potential economic burdens from new climate rules.

EPA last December concluded that greenhouse gases are a threat to public health and welfare, a decision clearing the way this spring for climate-based regulations for new cars and trucks. Next year, the agency is expected to write standards for power plants and other major industrial sources of heat-trapping gases.

In their petitions, EPA’s opponents had highlighted stolen e-mails from prominent climate scientists that they allege showed collusion to hide contrary information debunking global warming. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott had also warned that the EPA rules would lead to “unprecedented bureaucratic licensing and regulatory burdens on farmers, ranchers, small businesses, hospitals and even schools.”

But Jackson said the groups’ arguments lack merit.

“These petitions — based as they are on selectively edited, out-of-context data and a manufactured controversy — provide no evidence to undermine our determination,” Jackson wrote.

Read the rest of this Politico article, by Darren Samuelsohn, here.

If you missed it, here's Lisa Jackson, EPA's Administrator, earlier this year, on David Letterman (in two parts):

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