Many thanks to Kevin Grandia at Desmogblog for capably live-blogging yesterday's online forum with EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson, and for submitting a couple of our questions. As Kevin notes, Johnson did at least (amidst many "softball" questions) acknowledge the California waiver application, if not the states' lawsuit seeking a decision. His
talking points answers stressed the task of reviewing over 100,000 comments and other evidence-- unfortunately, our question about weighing the CRS report positively assessing California's case was not posed to him-- and his promise to have a decision by the end of the year.
In other words, nothing new to add.
Another of the submitted questions that EPA dodged concerned the State Department's touting of state efforts in the Fourth Annual U.S. Climate Action Report. In today's Washington Post, Juliet Eilperin picks up on this potential contradiction within the Bush administration. While she fared better in getting the question acknowledged, the response is not exactly illuminating:
The Bush administration and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) may be in the midst of a standoff over whether to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, but at least the State Department likes the idea.
EPA spokeswoman Jennifer Wood wouldn't comment on the report, saying it was compiled by the State Department. On the waiver, she said, "We're committed to having a decision by the end of the year."
That failed to satisfy David Doniger, policy director for the Natural Resources Defense Council's Climate Center. "It sounds like the right hand doesn't know what the far right hand is doing," he said.