Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Politics interferes with the EPA . . . again

Nothing too profound with the above heading; unfortunately, it's been going on for years. But the latest news bite has to do with apparent efforts to alter sworn congressional testimony to play down the threat of global warming, thereby mitigating the need for regulating greenhouse gas emissions (Washington Post / Los Angeles Times).

Former EPA official, Jason Burnett, claims that behind-the-scenes efforts by unnamed members of the Vice President's staff succeeded in deleting scientific information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as testimony regarding health risks from climate change to be presented before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, headed by Barbara Boxer. By eliminating any documentation of these health effects, the current administration is trying to skirt around a Supreme Court ruling that required the EPA to implement regulations on polluters when greenhouse gas emissions were shown to pose a risk.

Now I try not to get too political in this blog. After all, there isn't one political party that is a perfect angel when it comes to the environment. But it all comes down to forward-thinking leadership. And that seems to be a commodity in short supply these days. There is no doubt there are challenging decisions that lie ahead. But the more we avoid them, the more difficult they will be when we finally have to address them. I'd rather address them now than later. But that's just me - I'm not running for a 4-year term.

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