Fifteen months ago, the Supreme Court ordered the EPA and the President to study the effect of carbon emissions on the publics' health and welfare. The Court's order came after the Administration dragged its feet on global climate change for 7 years.
It took the EPA a full year to begin the study ordered by the Supreme Court. They didn't begin the study because they wanted to, they did it because 18 states, 2 cities and 11 environmental organizations filed a lawsuit with the Supreme Court to force the EPA to follow the Court's order. (Read my post on the lawsuit HERE).
Once the EPA finally completed the carbon emissions study, they emailed their findings to the White House who refused to open the email for several weeks (Read my post on the email HERE). Once they finally opened the email, they attempted to edit the results contained in the EPA's report (Read my post on the edits HERE).
Now, after years of drama over simply acknowledging the threat of global climate change, the Bush Administration has simply said it won't change its position on carbon emissions "this year." Reading between the lines, this means that the President will leave all work on global warming to whoever takes over his position in January of 2009.
Today, the EPA will announce many more months of public comment on the impact of carbon emissions on the nation's health and welfare, even though they completed the study on this exact issue several weeks ago. Many in Congress view this new public comment period as simply another delay tactic.
If the EPA's study were to be endorsed by the White House, then the federal government's official position on carbon emissions would be that they negatively impact public health and welfare. That position would trigger the Clean Air Act's regulatory provisions and polluting industries nation-wide would have to abide by stricter regulations. The special interests associate with these industries don't want that to happen.
Unfortunately, the Administration is siding with these special interests in spite of clear data which indicates regulating carbon emissions would actually have a positive impact on the economy. Here are some quotes from today's Washington Post story on the issue...
Career EPA officials argued that the global benefits of reducing carbon are worth at least $40 per ton, but Bush appointees changed the final document to say the figure is just an example, not an official estimate. They prohibited the agency from submitting a 21-page document titled "Technical Support Document on Benefits of Reducing GHG Emissions" as part of today's announcement.
"The administration didn't want to show a high-dollar value for reducing carbon," said one EPA official, adding that the administration cut dozens of pages from a draft that outlined cost-effective ways to reduce greenhouse gases."
If you would like to read the full story from the Washington Post on Bush's decision not to change his position on global climate change during his administration, click HERE.