EPA Chief: Bush Climate Policy Is Working!
Gee, Like the Katrina Rebuilding Effort Is Working, Like Alec Baldwin's Anger Management Therapy Is Working, Like Al Gore's Diet Is Working...
Wait! This Just In: Supreme Court Says EPA Must Consider Global Warming and EPA Chief Says that He's Thinking About It
...Like The Hunt for Bin Laden Is Working, Like...
On Monday, EPA Chief Stephen L. Johnson announced
that total US greenhouse gas emissions for 2005 only increased 0.8
percent from 2004. He went on to note that, "the Bush administration's
unparalleled financial, international and domestic commitment to
reducing greenhouse gas emissions is delivering real results."
As we all know, its unlikely that a person who sets his own goals
will set them too high. (That's why few people get to set their
own goals). Environmentalists apparently believe that Johnson could
be more ambitious: "Things have come to a pretty sad state
of affairs when the EPA tries to spin increased greenhouse gas emissions
as a victory," said Frank O'Donnell, president of Clean Air
Watch, an environmental advocacy group.
Even the Department of Energy thought the EPA might set their goals
a bit higher, noting in a separate report that, "The slow growth
in emissions from 2004 to 2005 can be attributed mainly to higher
energy prices that suppressed demand, low or negative growth in
several energy-intensive industries, and weather-related disruptions."
Things got even worse the next day, when Johnson testified before
the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. The Senators
asked the EPA Chief repeatedly when he would respond to a Supreme
Court ruling that obliges the EPA to determine whether vehicle emissions
were harmful to humans. If so, the agency would then be required
to regulate the gases under the federal Clean Air Act.
Proving that auto emissions are harmful is no easy task, however.
Sure, one could look at decades of scientific research to see the
long-term and short-term effects of emissions exposure. One could
look at "science" and "facts" and quickly jump
to a conclusion. That, however, would be taking the easy way out.
That's not Stephen L. Johnson's style.
Johnson repeatedly stated that the issues were complex and he needed
time to make thoughtful decisions. "We will move expeditiously,
but we are going to be moving responsibly," he said.
We think Johnson said that he had set a goal to resolve the issues
no later than January 19, 2009. If we heard correctly, one more
goal will be successfully accomplished and one more self-congratulatory
press release issued as he packs up his office.
Thanks, Administrator Johnson. One less thing to worry about. Well,
one less thing to wonder about, anyway.