Saying she has “lost all confidence” in Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson’s ability to carry out his agency’s mission, Senate Environmental and Public Works Chairman Barbara Boxer called on him to resign his post.
Joining Boxer were three other Democratic Senators Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, and Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey.
Johnson has been at odds with the committee for some months over a host of issues relating to his seeming alliance with heavy polluters and bowing to the political will of the Bush administration while leaving the advice and conclusions of his own scientists in the nebulous ether-world of unopened emails and redacted documents.
The Senators have requested that Attorney General Mukasey investigate to determine of Johnson lied under oath (and good luck with that).
This behavior not only degrades his once-great agency,” Whitehouse said in the speech, “it drives the dagger of dishonesty deep in the very vitals of American democracy”, were some of the cutting words from Senator Whitehouse on the floor of the Senate.
For those that may not remember or ever though much about the EPA until Bush’s reign. It wasn’t always like this.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s first Administrator, William Doyle Ruckelshaus, who server from 1970 to 1973 and then again from 1983 to 1985, had this to say back in 1983 about agency transparency:
When I recently appeared before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, I promised that EPA would operate 'in a fishbowl.' I said, 'We will attempt to communicate with everyone from the environmentalists to those we regulate and we will do so as openly as possible.’”
Not surprisingly, Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, a climate change denier who confuses marketing experts with climate scientists, characterized the actions of the four Senators as “election year politicking”
Please tell us Mr. Inhofe, is that politicking for the respect and transparency the agency had while Ronald Reagan was President? Or just plain oneness, honesty, and a clear sense of the intended mission of the agency?
If that’s whats happening at the EPA now, we can’t see it, the fishbowl is filthy.