Thursday, January 24, 2008

States' Rights?! Not When It Comes to the Environment! (JM)

God, seriously, the Bush administration gets more and more reprehensible. If you don't know EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson, you should. You see Stephen Johnson just thinks it's ridiculous that the state of California wants special dispensation to have higher emissions standards. Apparently he feels that this would get in the way of a "national environmental plan". Which roughly means, The National Plan to Keep Us From Making Any Significant Change in Environmental Regulation. But the truly amazing apart about this is that California has been granted this special dispensation for many many years now, this is first time EVER in the history of the EPA that they have blocked HIGHER standards.

It's kind of enough to make you sick, but apparently it is also enough to make one of my favorite political persons in the world sick too. Barbara Boxer is a Democratic senator from California who is great for numerous reasons (including a hilarious guest role on Curb Your Enthusiasm), now she enhances her greatness more by calling hearings on this absurdity. In doing the legwork to begin the hearings several documents were requested (including memos from almost every single analyst at the EPA arguing that this exception ought to be granted). These were refused and redacted under the the crazy and dictatorial claim of executive privilege. Why? To prevent "public confusion". Sigh... but the hearings began today, I wish I could watch as along with Boxer there is delightful and lovable semi-socialist Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and some of the supernutty "global warming doesn't exist" Senators on the other side of the aisle. Anyway, I highly recommend you check out this breakdown of the hearings, provided by the excellent journalists at TPM Muckracker (a usual must read news source). This is a very important issue, probably way more important than the bickering going on in the Democratic race right now, and it is pretty sad that is getting next to no media attention. But then again, who knows, maybe Maureen will have some cogent thoughts about this important issue come Sunday...

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