Kicking The Can Down The Road

KICKING THE CAN DOWN THE ROAD....The Washington Post reports today that the Bush administration has decided to run out the clock on the EPA's finding that greenhouse gases endanger public welfare:
The decision to solicit further comment overrides the EPA's written recommendation from December. Officials said a few senior White House officials were unwilling to allow the EPA to state officially that global warming harms human welfare...."They argued that this increase in regulation should be on the next president's record," not Bush's, said a participant in the lengthy interagency debate, referring principally to officials in the office of Vice President Cheney, on the White House Council on Environmental Quality, on the National Economic Council and in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

....The proposal that the EPA will unveil today, known as an advance notice of proposed rulemaking, stands in stark contrast to the agency's original Dec. 5 finding — backed up by a lengthy scientific analysis — that global warming is unequivocal, that there is "compelling and robust" evidence that the emissions endanger public welfare and that the EPA administrator is "required by law" to act to protect Americans from future harm.

....The full story of how the finding of public endangerment and Bush's promised greenhouse regulations got sidetracked is still not known. Participants have not disclosed, for example, which White House official ordered an EPA deputy associate administrator to withdraw the finding last December after it was transmitted by e-mail to [Susan] Dudley's office. An official said the person involved was "more senior than the head of OMB," but declined to be more precise.
Well, hell, why so coy? It's a cabinet level position. The only people in the White House senior to the head of OMB are the president, the vice president, and the chief of staff. Anyone want to take a guess about which one was the ringleader in chief of this episode?

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