White House pressures mayors on greenhouse gas emissions

He may be the lamest of lame ducks, but George W. Bush is still doing immense damage. Consider:

As the Bush administration prepares to issue its ruling on whether to limit greenhouse gases, it’s sending out a message to some of its allies: Tell us how much you don’t want us to regulate emissions linked to global warming.

Last week, the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs sent an e-mail to mayors reminding them that time was running out if they wanted to comment on the proposal the administration issued in July, which laid out how the government might curb greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. A 2007 Supreme Court decision required the Environmental Protection Agency to issue such a ruling, but the White House made it clear in its e-mail that it does not think that is a good idea.

In other words, the White House is actively marshalling support for its long-standing opposition to limits on greenhouse gas emissions. Some mayors may actually be concerned, but the White House is not just encouraging them but inciting them to tow the line.

As S. William Becker, executive director for the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, put it: “It appears there is no bottom to the administration’s pit of disdain for regulating greenhouse gases. On the eve of the comment deadline on one of the most important environmental issues of our time, the White House is resorting to scare tactics, including rhetoric from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, to incite opposition among elected county and city officials.”

Inauguration Day cannot come soon enough.

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