The Bush administration’s abysmal record regarding the Environmental Protection Agency has been consistently pro business and anti environment. I’ve reported on the gag orders, incompetent appointees and out and out suppression of scientific facts at this agency under this administration. See previous post: (https://paulluverajournalonline.com/weblog/enviorment/index.htm) Now it has been revealed that the EPA has instructed it’s managers that they must refuse to talk to senate investigators, reporters or even the EPA’s own internal inspector(Http://seapttlepi.newsource.com/national/372626_epa29.html)
The executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility said this is part of the “bunker mentality” of the EPA under the Bush Administration. The Office of the Inspector General indicated that it disapproved of the memo as hindering access to information. It pointed out that:
“All EPA officials and employees are required to cooperate with OIG. This cooperation includes providing the OIG full and unrestricted access to EPA documents, records and personnel.”
The memo surfaced as the Senate Environment and Judiciary Committee attempts to get the EPA to release information about global-warming policies after EPA administrator Stephen Johnson declined to testify before the committee. This is not surprising conduct by Johnson whose appointment was criticized because of his business and anti environmental record. He proved to not be a watch dog for the environment. Instead, under his watch the EPA has been restricted in it’s role as guardian of the environment. He ignored the findings of agency scientists and stonewalled congressional oversight. He claimed the EPA did not have authority to regulate emissions and blocked California’s attempt to do so until he was sued and the U.S. Supreme court ruled against him. Then he simply stonewalled adopting any regulations until forced to do so. When issued, however, they turned out to be worthless as regulatory standards.
Now, democratic senators are calling for him to resign and are asking the Attorney General to investigate whether he lied under oath while testifying before a Senate committee. Chairperson Barbara Boxer, D-Calif, said:
“We have lost all confidence in Stephen Johnson’s ability to carry out EPA’s mission under the law.”
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse D-R.I said Johnson “is a failure. It would be a disgrace to allow this administrator to slink off stage with the rest of the administration.” Earlier this year the Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth pressed for Johnson’s resignation. I am disturbed that President Bush, Vice President Cheney and the members of the Bush administration have acted with such determination to undermine, obstruct and block the EPA from carrying out it’s statutory obligation of protecting the environment. This has been done by appointment of people whose true role was to suppress scientific reports, to drag the feet of the EPA in acting regarding global warming and all other environmental actions and out and out, in your face, refusal to be accountable for doing it. After eight years we are suffering the consequences.