Friday, December 28, 2007

E.P.A. to Comply in Waiver Inquiry

NY Times
December 28, 2007


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency signaled Thursday that it was prepared to comply with a Congressional request for all documents, including communications with the White House, concerning its decision to block California from imposing limits on heat-trapping gases.

The agency’s general counsel directed employees in a memorandum to preserve and produce all documents related to the decision, including any opposing views and communications between senior agency officials and the White House.

The memorandum was in response to Congressional inquiries, said an agency spokeswoman, Jennifer Wood.

Last week, the agency administrator, Stephen L. Johnson, rejected California’s request to put into effect rules on tailpipe emissions of heat-trapping greenhouses gases like carbon dioxide. As many as 16 states would have been free to do likewise if California had received approval.

Mr. Johnson said that a new federal automobile fuel economy requirement achieved what California wanted to accomplish.

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, both led by Californians, have demanded the documents.

The memorandum to agency employees was made public by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.


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