Hey everyone, ScottN back at you with something of interest, especially to the online community, regarding EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson’s dubious decision to deny the waiver individual states need to implement the California clean car standards.
A little background: a few of us here have been following the EPA’s blog, Flow of the River, written by Deputy Administrator Marcus Peacock. Washington Post columnist Al Kamen recently took interest in it as well, and in his column, "Enough About Pollution Regulations; Here's a Riff on Amy Winehouse," Kamen takes Peacock to task for glossing over key issues, including the decision to deny the clean car waiver.
Peacock responded to the column citing the blog itself as a "risk," then added:
I'm pretty senior and will be gone in a year. A good question is how do we encourage, rather than discourage, the rank and file in government to take risks and test innovative ideas?
That seemed rather ironic to us, since the EPA has silenced and ignored so many of its "rank-and-file" scientists and legal staff in the past. UCS's Scientific Integrity program has repeatedly documented EPA suppression of staff scientists, and scientific information related to global warming, mercury pollution, and many other issues.
So we asked activists to leave comments on the EPA’s blog, explaining to Deputy Administrator Peacock that ignoring EPA scientists and analysts on an issue as central as global warming pollution from vehicles is not a way to "encourage risks and test innovative ideas."
The response, both from folks making the comments and from the EPA, has been tremendous. I’d suggest you head over to the EPA blog and have a look at the over 500 comments for yourself, as there are a lot of heartfelt and sophisticated ways that citizens are making an open appeal to the EPA to reverse its ill-founded decision.
So hats off to Mr. Peacock for creating the blog, to the EPA moderators for allowing citizen input to be seen, to my fellow bloggers, like Kate at Out in Left Field, the folks at Warming Law, and Mike at WNY, for helping to spread the word, and most of all, to everyone who has taken advantage of the opportunity to flex their online muscles in defense of the environment, cleaner cars, and scientific integrity.
Keep those comments coming, and have a great weekend!
Posted by: ScottN