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Air Quality

Boxer Seeks to Bypass Courts on Emissions


Not content to let the courts handle it, California's Junior Senator Barbara Boxer has introduced legislation, S. 2555, that would over rule the EPA and allow states to set their own emissions standards for automobiles. The Senator announced the legislation in an email to supportes that urges them to go to Boxer's website to email their representatives.

Boxer expects a future president to over turn the EPA's decision to deny states the power to regulate emissions within their borders but claims the issue needs to be addressed now. At the end of her letter, she reminds voters that she'll need 60 senators to support her to overcome a filibuster. Unless she thinks that President Bush is going to sign this bill into law and over rule his own EPA, she'll need 67 Senators to make a veto proof two-thirds majority willing to vote for S.2555.

The full text of the Senator's email is after the jump.

Click here to email your Senators, urging them to co-sponsor my bill to overturn EPA Administrator Johnson's decision! Slowly but surely, we're getting to the truth behind Bush EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson's terrible decision to block an effort by California and 18 other states to fight global warming.

While carefully peeling back white tape on redacted documents -- and with EPA personnel peering over their shoulders -- staffers from the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee have been closely reviewing additional documents dribbled out from the EPA over the past few weeks.

And what have we learned? Administrator Stephen Johnson clearly overruled the unanimous recommendations of his legal and technical staff who advised him to grant California's waiver request to regulate greenhouse gas emissions -- putting partisan politics ahead of science, the law, and the health & safety of the American people.

Ultimately, I'm convinced that Administrator Johnson's decision will be overturned -- either by the next President or the courts. But we can't afford to wait that long.

That's why I recently introduced legislation in the U.S. Senate to reverse Administrator Johnson's decision and give California and 18 other states -- representing more than half of our country's population -- the right to fight global warming. Will you help me get this critical bill passed?

Please forward an email to your Senators now, encouraging them to co-sponsor my bill to grant California's greenhouse gas emissions waiver and overturn Administrator Johnson's terrible decision!

On Wednesday, EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson came back to testify before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Once again, I confronted him with the facts and challenged him to explain how he could make a decision that ignored the science and the law, discarding the recommendations of his own experienced staff.

Here's what we learned in the latest documents that the EPA shared with us:

A senior aide to Administrator Johnson wrote that "it is obvious to me that there is no legal or technical justification for denying" California's request -- and that he "will face a pretty big personal decision about whether [he is] able to stay in the job" if he rejects California's waiver.

Another senior aide described the "compelling and extraordinary" conditions that make California particularly "vulnerable to climate change" -- including water resources, wildfires, long coastline, large population, and many others.

Administrator Johnson didn't just overrule his own staff: He also disregarded the advice of former EPA Administrator William Reilly -- appointed by President Bush's father -- who urged Johnson to approve California's waiver.

Unfortunately, Administrator Johnson still refuses to change his mind, even when confronted directly with the cold, hard facts at Wednesday's hearing -- and he still hasn't even turned over all of the documents we asked for, including information about contact he had with the White House, missing the original deadline he agreed to.

I guess I'm not surprised, but I am disappointed.

Well if Administrator Johnson won't do his job, then it's time for Congress to step up and do his job for him. Please forward an email to your Senators now, encouraging them to co-sponsor my bill to grant California's greenhouse gas emissions waiver and overturn Administrator Johnson's terrible decision! Thanks to the help of more than 70,000 friends and supporters who emailed Administrator Johnson to protest his decision and call on him to release all of the documents about his flawed decision-making process, we're getting to the truth -- and it's ugly.

Administrator Stephen Johnson's decision to overrule his staff and tarnish the reputation of the Environmental Protection Agency by standing in the way of the fight against global warming is unconscionable. It's politics at its worst. Now it's up to Congress to fix his mess. Will you help me do it? Please forward an email to your Senators now!

In Friendship, Barbara Boxer U.S. Senator

P.S. We're going to need 60 votes to pass this bill and overcome a likely Republican filibuster, so every vote in the Senate will make a huge difference. Please forward an email to your Senators now, encouraging them to co-sponsor my bill to grant California's greenhouse gas emissions waiver and overturn Administrator Johnson's terrible decision!

Photo: LA Times

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