It’s quite evident that Vice President Dick Cheney has fought all efforts in Washington to combat climate change and global warming. Some say he is public enemy number one when it comes to environmental issues. Seeking to play down the effects of global warming, Cheney’s office pushed to delete from congressional testimony references about the consequences of climate change on public health. A former senior EPA official, Jason K. Burnett, says the White House was concerned that the proposed testimony last October by the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention might make it tougher to avoid regulating greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere.
Burnett’s assertion, which he made in a July 6th letter to Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), chairperson of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, conflicts with the White House explanation at the time that the deletions reflected concerns by the White House Office of Science and Technology over the accuracy of the science. Burnett, until last month a senior advisor on climate change at the Environmental Protection Agency, wrote that Cheney’s office was deeply involved in getting nearly half of the CDC’s original draft testimony removed. He wrote in his letter to Senator Boxer:
The Council on Environmental Quality and the office of the vice president were seeking deletions to the CDC testimony (concerning) … any discussions of the human health consequences of climate change.
At a news conference, Senator Boxer maintained that the heavy editing of the testimony given by CDC Director Julie Gerberding last fall was the first part of “a master plan” aimed at “covering up the real dangers of global warming and hiding the facts from the public.” Burnett resigned his post in June as associate deputy EPA administrator because of disagreements over the agency’s response to climate change.
Burnett, an economist who had written a number of papers on government regulation while at the Center for Regulatory Study, a joint effort by the American Enterprise Institute and the Brookings Institution, first joined the EPA in 2004. He resigned two years later because of objections to an EPA rule on soot. He was asked to return in 2007 by EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson, who put him in charge of coordinating the agency’s response to a Supreme Court ruling on whether to regulate carbon dioxide emissions.
In his letter, Burnett describes concerns at the White House, including those in Cheney’s office, about linking climate change directly to public health or damage to the environment. The heavy editing of the CDC testimony in October is convincing evidence of how truly bad this Administration has been on critical environmental issues, including climate change. Burnett wrote in his letter that:
The White House, at the urging of Cheney’s office, “requested that I work with CDC to remove from the testimony any discussion of the human health consequences of climate change. CEQ contacted me to argue that I could best keep options open for the (EPA) administrator (on regulating carbon dioxide) if I would convince CDC to delete particular sections of their testimony.
The Bush Administration – with Vice-President Cheney leading the charge – has fought all efforts to combat global warming brought about by climate change. The Vice-President has objected to the EPA officials testifying that greenhouse gas emissions harm the environment. The White House refused in December to accept a draft from EPA finding that carbon dioxide, the leading greenhouse gas, is endangering human health. That sort of thing is impossible to justify and tells us how truly bad this Administration has been.
Source: Associated Press
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