What the Drilling Moratorium Tells Us: Fear Czars Without Portfolio

Funny. We always thought Carol Browner was de facto EPA Administrator. Turns out she’s really the de facto Secretary of Interior.

From Politico, “Interior inspector general: White House skewed drilling-ban report:

The White House rewrote crucial sections of an Interior Department report to suggest an independent group of scientists and engineers supported a six-month ban on offshore oil drilling, the Interior inspector general says in a new report.

In the wee hours of the morning of May 27, a staff member to White House energy adviser Carol Browner sent two edited versions of the department report’s executive summary back to Interior. The language had been changed to insinuate the seven-member panel of outside experts – who reviewed a draft of various safety recommendations – endorsed the moratorium, according to the IG report obtained by POLITICO.”

As Ed Morrissey points out at Hot Air: “This is no mere academic exercise. Thousands of people lost their jobs because of this supposed instance of sloppy editing, and the delay it created in safe exploration and drilling may impact the region for years, as well as America’s energy independence.”

The IG’s report certainly bolsters the argument for House oversight hearings into the role of Browner and other White House appointees on energy and climate policy issues. Talk show host Hugh Hewitt this week asked Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) about the possibility of subpoenaing Browner and other appointed “czars” for oversight hearings. “You bet,” said Upton, who is seeking the chairmanship of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Hat tip: Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit. Chris Horner has sharp commentary here, as well.

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