"EPA’s Johnson Claims ‘Ongoing Back Issues’ Prevent Him From Testifying Before Congress"
As each day brings new scandals involving the Environmental Protection Agency to light, the pressure for EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson to respond is growing. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA)’s Oversight and Government Reform Committee had scheduled a hearing for tomorrow with Johnson to testify on White House interference with ozone standards.
Today, Al Kamen reports that the hearing has been postponed because Johnson refused to appear:
EPA officials say Johnson had a “recurrence of ongoing back issues stemming from a car accident years ago.”
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) is conducting a hearing right now into the politicization of EPA scientific decisions (live webcast). Administrator Johnson declined the invitation to appear.
The Wonk Room wishes Administrator Johnson well and hopes that his recurring back pain subsides. Once he recovers, he should be ready to testify on these and other ongoing scandals involving his agency:
|EPA SCANDAL||CURRENT STATUS|
|The denial of the California waiver petition.|
|Failure to obey Supreme Court mandate to make a global warming pollution endangerment finding.||
|White House interference in ozone standards.|
|Mary Gade firing.||
|Politicization of the EPA.||
UPDATE: Council on Foreign Relations fellow and former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson argues today in the Washington Post:
There are few things in American politics more irrationally ideological, more fanatically faith-based, than the accusation that Republicans are conducting a “war on science.”
UPDATE II: The Sacramento Bee reports that the EPA will probably not regulate toxic rocket fuel contamination of water:
In a Senate hearing Tuesday, EPA assistant water chief Benjamin Grumbles did not dispute studies showing that perchlorate increases risks of brain damage in fetuses and infants and thyroid disorders in adults.
But, Grumbles said, there’s a “distinct possibility” the environmental agency won’t take action because they don’t know whether regulation would meaningfully reduce those risks.