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Congressman calls out bad campaign

Sarah Gardner Sep 25, 2007


Doug Krizner: Democratic congressman Henry Waxman of California says the White House is trying to “stack the deck” against California’s greenhouse gas standards.

Waxman chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. And he is accusing Bush officials of a behind-the-scenes lobbying campaign to trash the standards. But the administration says it’s done nothing wrong. Sarah Gardner reports from the Marketplace Sustainability Desk.

Sarah Gardner: Congressman Waxman says the White House approved a lobbying campaign against California’s tough fuel economy standards, which still need approval from the Environmental Protection Agency.

He says internal e-mails and interviews show Transportation Department staffers phoned members of Congress and governors, urging them to publicly oppose EPA approval.

Waxman says his committee’s inquiries show Transportation Secretary Mary Peters personally called at least two governors.

Henry Waxman: The politicians in the Bush Administration are trying to lobby the EPA to make a decision not on the merits, but on the politics. That’s against the law, and it’s not the right thing for this government to be doing.

But the Department of Transportation issued a statement calling its actions “legal, appropriate and consistent” with its long-held position on the issue.

And the president’s Council on Environmental Quality described the quote, “outreach” by federal officials as a “routine component of policy development.”

I’m Sarah Gardner for Marketplace.

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