In December, EPA administrator Stephen Johnson rejected “California’s long-standing request for a waiver from federal law to be able to implement its own landmark regulations to slash greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles.”
Today, Johnson came under harsh criticism from Environment and Public Works Committee chairwoman Barbara Boxer. She blasted Johnson for refusing come to California and meet with residents, and for censoring documents with white duct tape on the EPA’s decision-making process:
Colleagues, this is the tape, this is the tape that was put over — finally the administration had a way to use duct tape. This administration, this is what they did to us. They put this white tape over the documents and staff had to stand here. It’s just unbelievable. […]
I mean what a waste of our time. This isn’t national security. This isn’t classified information, colleagues. This is information the people deserve to have. And this is not the way we should run the greatest government in the world. It does not befit us. So that’s why I’m worked up about it and think we have been treated in a very shabby way.
Yesterday, Boxer released excerpts from an October presentation, revealing that Johnson had ignored the advice of EPA staff who were in favor of granting California the waiver. The excerpts came out after Boxer’s staff removed the duct tape from the documents and transcribed handwritten notes, under the supervision of EPA staffers.