Bush administration decides to run out the clock on regulating greenhouse-gas emissions
The Bush administration made clear today that it doesn’t intend to do anything about climate change in the final six months in office, announcing that instead of responding to the Supreme Court’s mandate last year that the EPA determine the dangers posed to humankind by greenhouse-gas emissions they would simply request further public comment.
The [Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking] was supposed to be a response to the April 2, 2007, Supreme Court decision in Massachusetts v. EPA, which found that greenhouse-gas emissions could be regulated under the Clean Air Act if EPA determines they pose a threat to public health and welfare. But rather than coming forward with a response, EPA administrator Stephen Johnson today announced that they are seeking four months of further public comment on the matter — pretty much running out the clock on the Bush presidency without any meaningful action.
Running Out the Clock on Plame Documents
Friday, the House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed Attorney General Michael Mukasey to provide interviews special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald had with George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney about Valerie Plame. That effort would appear to be in vain: Mukasey has told the House Oversight Committee, which two weeks ago requested via subpoena the exact same documents, that he won’t cooperate.
Mukasey hasn’t publicly provided any legal basis for why the interviews shouldn’t be released. Facing two separate Congressional subpoenas, can he keep doing nothing until January 2009?
Karl Rove had never been so agreeable.
The former chief strategist to President Bush was the only witness listed on the agenda for yesterday’s meeting of the House Judiciary Committee, and he proved to be uncharacteristically contained.
There was good reason for The Architect’s quiet: He was out of the country. He had no intention of appearing before Congress, and he had sent the panel the equivalent of a doctor’s note — from no less a medical authority than White House counsel Fred Fielding — saying he did not have to respond to the congressional subpoena.
So lawmakers decided to pull out one of the most feared weapons in their arsenal: the empty-chair stunt. They printed up a name card for “Mr. Karl Rove” and displayed it on the witness table. They put out a glass of cold water with ice, and pointed the microphone toward an empty wooden armchair.
Congress knows the White House can run out the clock on the various investigations into the Bush administration. White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers have already been held in contempt of Congress — but even if Bush’s Justice Department decides to prosecute those cases, his administration will be out of office before they are resolved. A contempt citation for Rove, which could come as soon as next week, would face the same sort of delay.