Bush Hiding Truth: Global Warming Regulations Worth $2 Trillion Benefit

Endangerment finding
Excerpt of the draft EPA rulemaking, discussing the threat global warming poses to public health. Download the first 150 pages of the document (Part I and Part II).

Reporters for Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal write that an “intense private battle” has broken out between officials at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Environmental Protection Agency over “the publication of a document that could become the legal roadmap for regulation of greenhouse gas emissions across the U.S. economy.” The portions of the document obtained by the Wonk Room reveal why the White House has been suppressing it since December of last year.

Even after major cuts from the December version, this document makes a mockery of President Bush’s claim in April that applying the Clean Air Act to global warming pollution “would have crippling effects on our entire economy.” In fact, after spending all of 2007 working with the Departments of Transportation and Energy to model the effects of motor vehicle greenhouse gas regulations, the EPA found the exact opposite:

New regulations

Assuming gas prices in the range of $3.50 per gallon, “the net benefit to society could be in excess of $2 trillion” through 2040:

$2 trillion benefits

With higher gasoline prices, the benefits of high carbon-dioxide standards would be even greater. The EPA’s findings, completed last year, raise serious questions about whether Bush’s statements to the American public were made in good faith, and why he is now asserting executive privilege to block the Congressional investigation.

Following a Supreme Court mandate to take action, the EPA submitted the original version of this document to the White House last December — but OMB officials refused to open the email. Since then, the document has been recrafted as an “Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” — a draft version with a request for further rounds of public comment, delaying any action to the next administration.

EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson testified before Congress on May 20 that he would issue this rulemaking draft by the end of spring — yet in a long line of deadlines Johnson has failed to make. According to published reports, the political appointee in charge of the plan, Jason K. Burnett, stepped down because of this “collision course between the agency and the OMB.”

The first 150 pages of EPA’s draft plan from May 30 can be downloaded in two parts from the Wonk Room: Part I and Part II.

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