EPA Career Staff Overrule Administrator

By February 29, 2008Global Warming

From Powerline, pointing to the real bureaucratic scandal that preceded the EPA refusing California’s request for a waiver so the state could regulate auto emissions in its war against carbon dioxide:

It turns out that two top EPA staff members were so intent on having their way that they prepared talking points for former EPA administrator William Reilly (Bush 41’s guy) to use when lobbying Johnson to grant the waiver. Among the talking points, prepared for Reilly by Chris Grundler, deputy director of EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality, Margo Oge, the director of that office, was this:

From what I have read and the people I have talked to, it is obvious to me that there is no legal or technical justification for denying this. . .You [Johnson] have to find a way to get this done. If you cannot, you will face a pretty big personal decision about whether you are able to stay in the job under those circumstances. This is a choice only you can make, but I ask you to think about the history and the future of the agency in making it. If you are asked to deny this waiver, I fear the credibility of the agency that we both love will be irreparably damaged.

Thus, in essence, a pair of bureaucrats contrived to have a respected outsider lobby their boss by advising him that he might have to quit his job if he didn’t comply with their policy preference. Amazing stuff, even by Washington standards.

Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) suggests an improper use of agency resources — indeed — and potentially a Hatch Act violation (don’t know about that). But this kind of activism puts the lie to the environmental left’s claim that the EPA’s career staff are saints AND scientists and must have their opinions obeyed.

The EPA today released the documents explaining the denial of California’s waiver request. The materials are available here.

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