Today’s Wall Street Journal had a page 2 article on the role of Vice President Cheney’s office in quashing any EPA action on greenhouse gases. The article was based on a report produced by a House committee chaired by Congressman Ed Markey (D-Mass).
The report (which to be fair, almost certainly has some political bias against Mr. Cheney) covers the same ground as other publications have, namely that the EPA was moving toward using the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gases until Cheney’s office reached out and touched the EPA.
For me, the remarkable thing is not that Cheney did this – we all know about his meddling ways – but how blatantly the administration denies it. In fact, in the course of this single WSJ article (2 half page columns, 615 words according to my word processor), there are three blanket denials of something that has been reported repeatedly:
White House spokesman Tony Fratto: “Chairman Markey’s report is inaccurate to the point of being laughable.”
Cheney spokeswoman Megan Mitchell: “I don’t accept their premise.”
Energy Department spokeswoman Angela Hill: Energy Secretary Bodman “has not reversed course.”
That’s one denial every 205 words. Who takes these jobs as spokesmen and spokeswomen?
Posted in Politics
Tagged bush, Politics
President Bush held a press conference this morning [7.15.08] and among the topics he discussed was his recent removal of the executive order banning offshore drilling. He pressured Congress to remove its own ban on drilling, using the high current price of gasoline as a hammer, accusing Congress of ignoring the financial pain gas prices are causing Americans. Specifically, he said:
“Democratic leaders have been delaying action on offshore exploration, and now they have an opportunity to show that they finally heard the frustrations of the American people.”
Every analyst I’ve read states categorically that approving drilling now won’t bring oil online for 10-20 years; oil companies will have to research where to drill, satisfy environmental concerns, build drilling platforms and develop infrastructure to get the oil to market. And any economist will tell you that oil supply coming online 20 years hence will have zero impact on today’s gas prices.
Bush knows that current gas prices and offshore drilling are unrelated. But he’s saying that they are related – lying, basically – to make a political point. He is preying on American frustrations, using them to push Congress into the action he wants.
Offshore drilling very well might become part of energy policy going forward, since we’re probably going to demand that oil someday. But let’s engage in that discussion honestly, based on relevant facts, rather than using lies and the upcoming election to push congressmen into a particular vote.
Bush’s move today is a great example of the political games – lying, dissembling, conflating issues – that are steadily disillusioning the American public. As moderates give up on the process, their disillusionment making them too apathetic to vote, only the rabid partisans remain.