Yesterday, the National Journal reported that Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) has filed an amendment to the $32.1 billion FY10 Interior-Environment appropriations bill that would block any of the bill’s funds from being used to carry out orders from Carol Browner, director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy, who is often referred to in the press as the White House “climate czar”:
Lawmakers have filed more than 20 amendments to the $32.1 billion FY10 Interior-Environment appropriations bill, including a proposal from Sen. David Vitter, R-La., that would prohibit any of the bill’s funds from being used to carry out directives from the White House climate change czar.
The amendment will ensure the climate czar is not directing actions of the departments and agencies funded in the bill, Vitter said.
While the right may be dedicated to portraying Browner’s position as unaccountable, unprecedented, and even “radical,” the fact is that Browner was originally brought into the executive branch as head of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1993 — a position in which she was unanimously approved by the Senate.
Since taking her role, Browner has been a vital part of efforts to combat climate change. She was involved in negotiating crucial new emissions standards with automakers last spring, and is a major part of congressional discussions over cap and trade.
Vitter’s amendment is likely more motivated by his anti-environmental views than any of his absurd claims that the White House’s use of special advisers is “unconstitutional.” In 2008, Vitter recieved the lowest possible rating — 0 percent — from three leading environmental groups: Environment America, the League of Conservation Voters, and the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund. Last summer, Vitter told a room full of Exxon Mobil employees that he doesn’t think the science of global warming isn’t “clear and settled,” and has made opposition to climate change legislation one of his major priorities.