Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Senator Boxer Says EPA's Johnson Has "Run Amok"

Dec 22: In a sternly worded letter, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, made clear that U.S. EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson "has run amok and will waste taxpayer dollars in his most recent action to avoid controlling global warming pollution in Clean Air Act permits." Senator Boxer's outrage is over Johnson's December 18 memo to Regional Administrators outlining his policy calling for no regulation of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions under the Clean Air Act. Johnson said he was clarifying the recent EPA Environmental Appeals Board ruling that concluded EPA had no valid reason for refusing to limit from new coal-fired power plants the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that cause global warming [See WIMS 11/14/08].

Senator Boxer said, "This illegal document issued by Stephen Johnson makes it clear that he has become a renegade Administrator. He defies the clear language of our environmental laws and acts without legal authority. Mr. Johnson's latest action is intended to make the job of combating global warming more difficult and will add to the millions of taxpayer dollars he has wasted in defending his illegal decisions. The Attorney General has an obligation to intervene when the actions of the Administration are so clearly outside the law."

In her letter to the Attorney General, Senator Boxer refers to the Johnson document as a "blatantly illegal memo." She said, "Swift and decisive action on your part to ensure that Administrator Johnson immediately withdraws this unauthorized document will not only prevent a gross waste of taxpayer money defending an illegal decision, but it will also make clear that the waning days of the Bush Administration should not be used to issue 'midnight rules' that undermine the law and threaten the health of our people and our planet. Given the urgency of this matter, please contact me immediately regarding your next steps to ensure that this illegal policy is suspended and that more taxpayer dollars are not wasted."

Access a release and link to the complete letter (click here). Access the Johnson Memo (click here). [*Air, *Climate]