AP Photo/The Daily Tribune News, Dayton P. Strickland/FILE
On Tuesday, the committee, chaired by Henry Waxman (D) of California, looked into documents purporting to show that the EPA watered down ozone standards at the behest of the White House. On Monday, a top-level EPA official testified that the agency's administrator, Stephen Johnson, initially favored granting California a waiver that would have allowed it to regulate tailpipe emissions, but then backed down after hearing from the White House.
Combine that with a report earlier this month from the Union of Concerned Scientists that 889 of 1,586 staff scientists at the EPA reported that they have experienced political interference in their work in the past five years, and there emerges a pretty strong case that the White House is continually overriding the advice of EPA scientists.
You won't hear that from Mr. Johnson, though. Check out this clip on YouTube from Tuesday's ozone hearing, in which New Hampshire Democrat Paul Hodes attempts to ask the EPA administrator if he ever spoke with anyone from the White House about the cost of the pollution standards. For five whole minutes, Johnson, who was under oath, dodges the question of whether he recalls such a conversation, adding that it would not be appropriate to discuss the content of that conversation if it had in fact happened. Got that?