Tuesday, February 26, 2008



There was an interesting report in this morning's Washington Post about an issue pitting Bush's corporate-oriented, aggressively anti-environmental EPA against local air-quality agencies and environmental groups. Lobbyists have been working furiously with the Bush Regime to roll back as many federal pollution rules as they can between now and the what looks, due to egregious Bush over reach, to be the end of right wing government for decades into the future.
Under pressure from agriculture industry lobbyists and lawmakers from agricultural states, the Environmental Protection Agency wants to drop requirements that factory farms report their emissions of toxic gases, despite findings by the agency's scientists that the gases pose a health threat.

The EPA acknowledges that the emissions can pose a threat to people living and working nearby, but it says local emergency responders don't use the reports, making them unnecessary.

Even recently defeated lobbyist-friend Maryland Rep Al Wynn (who chairs the subcommittee on environment and hazardous materials called the proposal a "gift from the Bush administration to big corporate animal-feeding operations that denies the public of knowledge that serious contaminants are in the air."

The League of Conservation Voters just released their ratings for 2007 and there's plenty of information about which members of Congress are environment-friendly and which ones have been selling their asses to corporate interests eager for a free hand to pollute at will. Wynn, aggressively challenged by a progressive anti-corporate reformer mended his ways over the past 2 years and actually scored a 100% rating for 2007, a big improvement from past years when he wasn't being challenged by a grassroots reformer. I'll get back to the House in a moment.

Let's take a look at the scores in the Senate first. There are only seven U.S. senators who score an absolute zero and every single one of them is a Republican, naturally. The members whose names are bolded are running for office again this year.
McCain (R-AZ)
Roberts (R-KS)
Vitter (R-LA)
Cochran (R-MS)
Bond (R-MO)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Cornyn (R-TX)

There are far more members of the House with zero, of course. The worst of the worst-- and every single one of them is a Republican-- naturally:

Calvert (R-CA)
Herger (R-CA)
Issa (R-CA)
McCarthy (R-CA)
Nunes (R-CA)
Radanovich (R-CA)
Broun (R-GA)
Gingrey (R-GA)
Kingston (R-GA)
Linder (R-GA)
Westmoreland (R-GA)
Sali (R-ID)
Manzullo (R-IL)
King (R-IA)
Davis (R-KY)
Lewis (R-KY)
Boustany (R-LA)
McCrery (R-LA)
Camp (R-MI)
Bachmann (R-MN)
Kline (R-MN)
Blunt (R-MO)
Pearce (R-NM)
McHenry (R-NC)
Boehner (R-OH)
Cole (R-OK)
Fallin (R-OK)
Lucas (R-OK)
Wilson (R-SC)
Barton (R-TX)
Brady (R-TX)
Burgess (R-TX)
Carter (R-TX)
Conaway (R-TX)
Culberson (R-TX)
Gohmert (R-TX)
Granger (R-TX)
Hall (R-TX)
Neugebauer (R-TX)
Sessions (R-TX)
Smith (R-TX)
Thornberry (R-TX)
Bishop (R-UT)
Goode (R-VA)
Goodlatte (R-VA)
Cubin (R-WY)

Those corporate lobbyists in Texas, Oklahoma and Georgia sure got their money's worth last year! In case you're interested in knowing which Democrats voted most frequently with the Republicans to benefit their corporate masters at the expense of clear water, clear air and a healthy environment, the worst culprits in the Senate were (from bad to worse) Mark Pryor (D-AR), Chris Dodd (D-CT), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and Tim Johnson (D-SD, although his incredibly Republican score was probably due more to absence than just his natural reactionary bent alone).

In the House, the Democrats who voted most frequently for the GOP corporate agenda were the same collection of Blue Dogs, reactionaries and scumbags who vote for all Bush's and Cheney's initiatives across the board (again, bad to worse):
Barrow (D-GA)
Cardoza (D-CA)
Cuellar (D-TX)
Green (D-TX)
Boyd (D-FL)
Ross (D-AR)
Wilson (D-OH)
Space (D-OH)
Edwards (D-TX)
Peterson (D-MN)
Hinojosa (D-TX)
Matheson (D-UT)
Melancon (D-LA)
Mollohan (D-WV)
Marshall (D-GA)
Lampson (D-TX)
Ortiz (D-TX)
Boren (D-OK)

If the environment means anything to you, the names on this list-- Republicans and Democrats, are your enemies and you should do what you can to defeat them.

Meanwhile, in a tangentially related matter, there is startling scientific evidence that size doesn't matter-- or may even hamper performance-- at least when it comes to members of Congress.


Today's Congressional Quarterly revealed that although the EPA staff favored allowing California to set their own greenhouse gas emission standards, like the state's Republican governor had requested, Bush's cabinet level Administrator, nixed it.
Sen. Barbara Boxer , D-Calif., said she plans to grill Johnson about his decision at a hearing Wednesday on the EPA’s proposed fiscal 2009 budget.

“The people in the agency who were charged with advising administrator Johnson were very, very clear that this waiver should be signed,” Boxer said.

Johnson announced late last year that he would not grant a waiver to allow California to implement a state-level global warming program. California’s regulations would set fuel economy standards for vehicles stricter than those in force at the federal level. Numerous other states have indicated they would adopt identical regulations if California were allowed to move forward.

Boxer has introduced legislation to require the EPA to allow the state emission standards. She plans to move the bill if she can obtain 60 votes to overcome a filibuster on the floor. States have also filed a lawsuit against the EPA.

In the meantime, Boxer is requesting documents from the agency on the background behind Johnson’s decision. One presentation from October is a strong recommendation from EPA staff that the waiver should be granted. The document was prepared by Christopher Grundler, deputy director at the Office of Transportation and Air Quality.

Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA must allow California to set its own pollution standards for vehicles unless the state standards are found to be arbitrary and capricious, are unnecessary to meet “compelling and extraordinary” environmental conditions, or are otherwise inconsistent with the federal anti-pollution law.

Labels: , , , ,


At 8:57 AM, Anonymous Bill said...

I wish more people would pay attention to what is happening to our country. The culture brewed by the right wing will cost us so much for years into the future. Two America's isn't it?

At 11:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



Post a Comment

<< Home