Bush to Americans: More smog is good

In what should come as a surprise to absolutely no intelligent person who has followed Bush's presidency, Bush has overruled the recommendations of EPA scientists in order to allow more smog-causing ozone in the air.  Details:

The Environmental Protection Agency weakened one part of its new limits on smog-forming ozone after an unusual last-minute intervention by President Bush, according to documents released by the EPA.

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EPA officials initially tried to set a lower seasonal limit on ozone to
protect wildlife, parks and farmland, as required under the law. While
their proposal was less restrictive than what the EPA's scientific
advisers had proposed, Bush overruled EPA officials and on Tuesday
ordered the agency to increase the limit, according to the documents.

“It is unprecedented and an unlawful act of political interference
for the president personally to override a decision that the Clean Air
Act leaves exclusively to EPA's expert scientific judgment,” said John
Walke, clean-air director for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

In an absolutely shocking development, administration lawyers are doing their best to pretend that this is all good:

he president's order prompted a scramble by administration officials
to rewrite the regulations to avoid a conflict with past EPA statements
on the harm caused by ozone.

Solicitor General Paul D. Clement
warned administration officials late Tuesday night that the rules
contradicted the EPA's past submissions to the Supreme Court, according
to sources familiar with the conversation. As a consequence,
administration lawyers hustled to craft new legal justifications for
the weakened standard.

Do what you want without regard for the rule of law and then have presidential lawyers reinterpret the law to pretend you are not doing anything wrong.  Just another day in the Bush White House.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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