EPA Defies Another Subpoena: 'It May Create Erroneous Impressions' 1

Posted by Wonk Room Thu, 17 Apr 2008 22:25:00 GMT

Originally posted at the Think Progress Wonk Room.

In continued defiance of Congressional oversight, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has flatly declined to obey a subpoena from the House Committee on Global Warming and Energy Independence. The subpoena for documents relating to the EPA’s refusal to obey the Supreme Court mandate to regulate greenhouse gases was issued by a unanimous, bipartisan vote on April 2, a year after the Supreme Court decision.

On April 11, the EPA requested and received an extension to respond, but today the agency has decided not to turn over the documents: Grave Concerns

Whether or not the EPA has “grave concerns” about “erroneous impressions,” a “chilling effect,” and “institutional prerogatives,” these are not legally defensible reasons to defy a Congressional subpoena. In a terse response, Committee chair Ed Markey (D-MA) found the reasoning “unpersuasive.” The letter continues:

Subpoena Cloud

Of course, if the EPA simply turned over the documents, it would no longer be under such a “cloud.”

The EPA is also defying the House Oversight Committee’s subpoena for related documents on White House involvement. Both letters of refusal were written by EPA assistant administrator Christopher P. Bliley—who was OMB head Jim Nussle’s chief of staff in Congress.

Warming Law notes this defiance likely triggers contempt of Congress proceedings for EPA administrator Stephen Johnson.

View the full letter: EPA 4-16-08 Subpoena Response (PDF)


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  1. views Tue, 22 Apr 2008 13:59:13 GMT

    if there is 1 word somewhere in any EPA email that the Democrats can use to their political advantage they will grab it and send it to their friends at the NY Times and NBC News (and CNN, MSNBC, NPR, Newsweek, Time, Washington Post, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, KC Star… fingers tired) and a ‘scandal’ will be created.

    totally agree with EPA response. but it still won’t matter. whether they give or not, the Dems and their media sympathizers will have a story.

    Thou shall not listen to any other opinions. Thou shall not talk about any other options. Thou shall not conduct any science or any inquiry. The answer is known in advance—we will all die from rising waters unless we obey Democrats now. Pretty soon even voting for a Republican will brand one as being a disbeliever.