This Wednesday, April 16, the Bush administration took action on several fronts to show his contempt for Congress, the courts, and the planet.
Contempt for the Planet. President Bush took center stage in the Rose Garden on Wednesday, claiming he has taken a “rational, balanced approach” to climate change and calling for an “ambitious new track” of not capping greenhouse emissions until 2025 — a goal that would spell disaster for the planet. He also denigrated the Supreme Court decision mandating the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gases — a decision he once called “the law of the land.” This contempt underlies actions taken by the EPA and the Department of Justice that very same day.
Contempt for Congress. Also on Wednesday, the EPA’s associate administrator Christopher P. Bliley flatly declined to obey a House Global Warming Committee subpoena for documents relating to EPA’s refusal to obey the Supreme Court mandate. This act of defiance has now “triggered a potential contempt process” against EPA administrator Stephen L. Johnson.
Contempt for the Courts. In September of last year, a federal judge ruled against the auto industry’s attempt to block the 17 states who are acting to regulate tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions. This ruling hinges upon California’s petition for a waiver to regulate emissions — the waiver EPA’s Johnson denied in December. Late Wednesday, the Department of Justice sided with the American Automobile Manufacturers’ appeal, citing Johnson’s denial. However, in the EPA’s own judgment, Johnson’s decision will be overturned. With shameless audacity, the administration is now asking an appeals court to compound the error.
UPDATE: Warming Law explains that the Justice Department “is asking that the Second Circuit declare the entire case ‘not justiciable’ on ripeness grounds” — that is, arguing that the case never should even been considered in the first place.