The House Committee on Government Reform has begun an inquiry into allegations that White House officials edited reports on global warming to play down the threat it poses. In addition, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group predicted that energy companies' plans to build more than 150 new coal-fired power plants will increase U.S. carbon dioxide emissions by 25% above 2004 levels.
The House committee chairman, Rep. Tom Davis [R-Va] and Rep. Henry Waxman [D-Ca] will request data from the White House and hold hearings into whether the White House Council on Environmental Quality (there's an oxymoron for ya) intentionally diluted scientific information on the threat of global warming.
So, let's take a look at what we have here...
1 - We have a bi-partisan government committee who has reason to believe that the White House (the President) has altered or withheld information from the public and Congress.
2 - An organization created by the states to act as a watchdog in the public interest (the U.S.PIRG) has gotten involved as a representative of the general public - us - whom they act to serve.
3 - The White House has a Council on Environmental Quality. Who'd-a-thunk? That has to be the easiest job in Washington. Come in, do nothing, act stupid and shred documents. Alledgedly.
Read their "Record of Progress" [here] and try to keep your lunch down at the same time. I dare ya. When you get to the part about "employing the best science and data to inform decision-making" I bet you'll bring up yesterday's lunch, too.
The sad thing is that the story was buried in Yahoo news this afternoon, and I'm guessing it will get little airplay tonight or tomorrow. Meanwhile, Fox News probably has reporters covering Bush's meeting with American Idol contestants. Nero fiddles while Rome burns - well, it's almost that hot.
This time, it's not the Democrats or the "crazy" left-wing tree huggers doing the screaming. It's government agencies and independent watchdogs. Meanwhile, Henry Waxman is quoted as saying that "the Bush administration has very little credibility on this issue." Ya think? Sure, this issue and lots of others. He's good at back rubs, though.
In my opinion, withholding and altering scientific data is an impeachable offense, but even if the charges stick (doubtful for this guy) it will likely take so long to prove, process and convict, that his time in office will be gratefully close to an end, while the damage he has done will take generations to undo, if it is possible at this point. But, you have to admit, the guy has accomplished a lot in 6 years.
All of which convinces me even further that former Vice President Al Gore is one of the best representatives we as citizens have to act in our interests. Perhaps it's best that he is now in private life rather than mired in the government. But I know that if he were president today there are several current events that would still be events, but not current. Keep fighting, Al. You look better with each passing day.
It's no wonder Bush wants us to go to Mars. He's looking for a summer home.