Better World Club

Thursday, February 12, 2009

You Had Us at "Set Public Hearings on California Emissions Standards"

A Love Letter to EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson

Dear Administrator Jackson,

Being with you is literally like a breath of fresh air. We spent far too long (2005-2008) in an unhealthy relationship with former EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. Stephen consistently didn't meet our needs (like protecting the environment), and he never listened. Public comments, lawsuits from state DAs, orders from the US Supreme Court, and even objections from his own scientists were routinely ignored.

In particular, Stephen was too self-absorbed to address our need for a waiver so California and 13 other states could set their own auto emissions standards. Was a tiny little waiver too much to ask for?

Lisa, that's one of the reasons why we're so excited to be with you now. We've only been together a short time, but you've already shown what an active listener you are (unlike Stephen L. Johnson, who would bore us to tears talking about the "good old days" in the chemical and animal testing industries). Why, just a few days ago, you announced both a public hearing and public comment period for the auto emissions waiver.

This relationship is off to a good start, but be warned: we've been hurt before, and we won't put up with any passive-aggressive anti-environmental behavior. We flooded our old administrator with petitions and aren't afraid to do so again if necessary - but it won't be necessary, right?

So, how about a date? We're sure your ethics rules stop us from buying you dinner, but we'll drive. (It's a hybrid.)

Better World Club

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wow! The California Waiver Soap Opera Just Got Soap-Oprier!

Latest Surprise Twist: EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson May Have Been a Good Guy All Along!

Bush Better Watch Out, Johnson Tell-All Book Could Be In The Works: What Happened At The EPA? Nothing!

Recently surfaced EPA internal documents show that EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson actually favored allowing California and 17 other states to regulate their own tailpipe emissions.

This environmentally sound position was reversed, however, after officials at the White House pulled Johnson aside and "discussed" the issue with him. The EPA is an independent agency, and Johnson - like all EPA Administrators - is a presidential appointee, but that does not mean that he is supposed to be taking orders from the White House.

What's shocking about this story isn't the fact that the head of our EPA acts as a mouthpiece for a presidential administration that acts as a mouthpiece for polluting industries. What's truly surprising is the fact that Johnson actually had to have his arm twisted to deny California's waiver request.

Who knows what other pro-environmental tendencies he may be harboring deep in his heart? Perhaps this man - who used to be an executive in the animal testing industry - is secretly a member of PETA? The mind boggles at the possibilities, but then Scott McClelland now says that he disbelieves the very statements he was making in the White House press room.

So Stephen L. Johnson, whether you're hugging trees or whackin' them down with your kick-ass Husky 346XP chainsaw, we will give credit where it's due and thank you for trying. We look forward to your book.

The Story So Far...

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