The EPAhas been considering new national health standards on ozone and smog. With about six weeks before they announce their decision, the White House has been meeting with some of "the biggest and nastiest polluters," according to Frank O'Donnell, president of the environmental watchdog Clean Air Watch. More private meetings! I thought we'd have enough of this.
On its face, the decision on ozone and smog shouldn't be a tough one. The health evidence is overwhelming that tougher smog standards are needed to protect children with asthma and millions of other Americans. EPA's own independent scientific advisers are unanimous in support of tougher rules. But last Friday, OMB recorded that several oil industry consultants came to meet with administration figures on the new rules. Anne Smith of CRA International came representing the American Petroleum Institute and Teresa Gorman of LPI Consulting and Bingham McCutchen representing ExxonMobil on clean air regulatory issues. Wouldn't it be nice to have a little transparency about what was discussed?Continue reading
- The White House rejected a new EPA rule to "keep groundwater clean near oil drilling sites and other construction zones" after receiving complaints from oil and energy company executives. Ernest Angelo, a Texas oil man and a Republican activist, expressed his anger over the EPA rule by writing that many in the energy world "openly express doubt as to the merit of electing Republicans when we wind up with this type of stupidity." As always we like to remember that President Bush is the biggest recipient of campaign cash from the oil and gas industry in the entire history of elections in America.
- Anti-pork hardliner [sw: John Shadegg] (R-AZ) has fired the latest salvo in the Pork Wars between conservative Republican congressmen and [sw: Jerry Lewis]' (R-CA) Appropriations Committee by "circulating a newspaper story linking Rep. Jerry Lewis to 'the inherent risk of corruption at the heart of the congressional earmark process.'"
- Several weeks ago [sw: Jerry Lewis] (R-CA) retained a lawyer to handle to federal investigation into his and his aides' earmarking practices. One of Lewis' lawyers is Barbara Comstock who is currently representing I. Lewis Libby in the Plame case.
- In Scotland, the famous destination of Jack Abramoff and his merry band of travellers, no one knows about the lobbyist's well-documented golfing trips. Favorite quote: “'We have the same scandals,' said Neil Paton, the head professional in the town’s only certified pro shop, 'except our politicians go the beach in Spain or Italy.'"
- At least the corruption in this country doesn't fuel an insurgency. In Iraq, that appears to be a huge problem. Continue reading