Environmental Protection Agency

Johnson To Congress: Bugger Off
April 18, 2008

Following in the proud traditions of former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten, EPA administrator Stephen Johnson has decided to blow off a subpoena from Rep. Ed Markey's Special Select Committee on Energy Independence and Climate Change. The committee is seeking papers verifying the EPA's compliance with a Supreme Court finding that the agency had no choice but to regulate greenhouse gases.

A New Breed Of Hack
April 15, 2008

Over at the Washington Independent, Matthew Blake takes stock of EPA head Steven Johnson's abysmal tenure, and offers up a theory: Johnson's biggest decisions, on issues like greenhouse gas emissions and ozone standards, appear dictated not by his scientific staff but by the political directives of President George W. Bush. ... Yet Johnson is not a political appointee lacking in scientific knowledge. Rather, he served as an EPA health scientist, specializing in pesticides, for 27 years. Johnson's background, however, can almost be said to be one of his weaknesses.

Agency Heads Lying? Who Would've Guessed?
January 24, 2008

Wow, EPA head Steven Johnson's appearance before Barbara Boxer's committee on Thursday ought to be... interesting. Here's the backstory: Last December, Johnson told California that it wasn't allowed to set its own stricter tailpipe emissions standards because… well, he didn't give any great reasons, just a lot of mumbo-jumbo.

The Devil's Advocate
September 24, 2007

The sleazy lobbyist who might save the world.

Epa Condemns Water Deal
August 30, 2007

Following up on Brad's post from earlier this week, today comes word that the EPA concurs that the proposed San Joaquin Valley water contract is a raw deal. When even the Bush administration's EPA isn't willing to sign off on an industry-backed scheme, you know it must be really nuts. --Josh Patashnik

American Collapse
August 27, 2007

Within fourteen days of each other, two rush-hour calamities: a bridge collapse and a steam-pipe explosion. In Minneapolis, a forty-year-old bridge along highway I-35W suddenly dropped sixty feet into the Mississippi River, killing at least five people and injuring approximately one hundred more. The federal government had deemed the bridge structurally deficient in 1990, which the Minnesota Department of Transportation acknowledged in separate reports issued in 2005, 2006, and 2007, after inspecting the bridge.

Waste Management
May 15, 2007

Tucked away on the westernmost edge of the Florida panhandle, Escambia County is a Republican stronghold whose beaches attract droves of tourists each year, earning it the cheery tagline: "The western gate to the Sunshine State, where thousands live like millions wish they could." But no paradise would be complete without a dirty little secret, and Escambia has that, too: For more than a decade, toxins from two of the county's now-defunct wood-preserving plants have gone largely untreated.

Climate Change After The Supreme Court
April 02, 2007

by Cass Sunstein One of the most interesting questions raised by today's decision is the likely aftermath. In a nutshell, the EPA said that it lacked the legal authority to regulate greenhouse gases from motor vehicles, and also said that it would decline to regulate greenhouse gases even if it had such authority. The Court ruled (1) that the EPA had the authority to regulate greenhouse gases and (2) that it did not adequately explain why it declined to do so.

Closing of the Presidential Mind
July 05, 2004

On February 27, 2001, George W. Bush addressed a joint session of Congress. When the president had last ventured to the Capitol for his inauguration 37 days earlier, he had delivered a homily urging the nation to move past the sting of the Florida recount.

The 9/10 President
March 10, 2003

It disappeared so quickly that it is easy to forget the bipartisan patriotism and common purpose that existed in Washington immediately after September 11, 2001. Perhaps the most memorable event from that period was the gathering of members of Congress from both parties on the steps of the Capitol to sing "God Bless America." Another such episode--little-noticed, but actually more remarkable--occurred the following month.