Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Next Time Try Sending It From

You know, most times we like to keep up the illusion that we at least put a modicum of effort into searching through the detritus of the day's events to bring you yet another reason to question the future of the human race. Then there are times like this:

The White House in December refused to accept the Environmental Protection Agency’s conclusion that greenhouse gases are pollutants that must be controlled, telling agency officials that an e-mail message containing the document would not be opened, senior E.P.A. officials said.

We'll run the operative part of that paragraph by you once again: "...telling agency officials that an e-mail message containing the document would not be opened..."

Don't ask, don't tell becomes the core of Bush environmental policy. Do you see now why we drink?

The Bush administration’s climate-change policies have been evolving over the past two years. "Well, let's say 'maturing'," said Tony Fratto, a White House spokesman. "'Evolving' isn't a word we like to use around here."

This week, more than six months later, the E.P.A. is set to respond to the howling whackos in the White House by releasing a made up version of the original proposal that offers no connection to reality. "We serve at the pleasure of the president," said one E.P.A. aide who asked not to be identified.

Fratto refused to comment on discussions between the White House and the Environmental Protection Agency. Asked about changes in the original report, Mr. Fratto said, “It’s the E.P.A. that determines what analysis it wants to make available” in its documents, "and we deterimnie which e-mails we will open. Right now, I'm pretty busy corresponding with a Barrister in Nigeria over the transfer of 10 million dollars."

The House Select Committee for Energy Independence and Global Warming, led by Representative Edward J. Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts, has been seeking the discarded E.P.A. finding on the dangers of climate change. "If he wants to see the dangers, tell him to go look out the window," Fratto said.

Simultaneously, Mr. Waxman’s committee is weighing its response to the White House’s refusal to turn over subpoenaed documents relating to the E.P.A.’s handling of recent climate-change and air-pollution decisions. The White House, which has turned over other material to the committee, last week asserted a claim of executive privilege over the remaining documents. "If Waxman wants documents, tell him to send us an e-mail," Fratto said.

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