Current Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson put out a press release praising President-elect Barack Obama’s selection of Lisa Jackson to be Johnson’s successor. Johnson praises Jackson’s “wealth of experience and a solid record of achievement in environmental service,” but then goes on to burnish his own dreadful record:
While environmental responsibility is everyone’s responsibility, I am particularly proud of the role EPA has played in bringing about record results on behalf of the American people and our environment. Our air is cleaner, our water is purer, and our land is better protected than just a generation ago.
The Wonk Room contacted EPA press secretary Jonathan Shradar to ask whether the “air is cleaner” claim applies to greenhouse gas pollution. Shradar pleaded ignorance:
I don’t know the science there. I don’t think there’s a significant change in greenhouse gas pollutants. . . If you look at air quality in the United States, it is better. Climate change may still be affected.
When it was pointed out to him that the U.S. Energy Information Administration has reported that U.S. global warming pollution has increased by 17 percent since 1990 and five percent since 2001, Shradar replied:
I haven’t seen that.
When pressed further, he demurred, “I’m just the press secretary for the EPA.”