Oversight

• House Natural Resources Committee (05/21/08) — Chairman Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), and Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) are criticizing the Bush administration in the wake of the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) findings that four highly placed officials in the Interior Department played major roles in policy decisions on endangered species. The ongoing GAO investigation is overseeing the Fish and Wildlife Service’s review of endangered species decisions made by former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Fish, Wildlife and Parks Julie MacDonald.

“A disconcerting picture has emerged of officials working at the highest levels of the Interior Department continuing to tamper with the endangered species program, trumping science with politics,” Rahall stated.

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• House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (5/20/08) — Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) held a hearing that reviewed the process the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) used to set new ozone standards. A committee investigation found that the White House had interfered in the EPA’s ozone regulation, and the agency was forced to ignore the standards recommended to it by its independent panel.

“We are only entitled to a fair process that is based on the science, the facts and the law. That impartial and rigorous system is one of the critical pillars of our government. Unfortunately, President Bush seems to believe these rules don’t apply to him. On key issues, this administration has pushed ahead with its agenda despite the evidence and the law,” Waxman said.

• Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (5/19/08) — Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) has asked that the EPA and the White House make documents available on the EPA’s decision to turn down California’s request for a waiver to address global warming pollution from vehicles.

“Clearly, the Bush administration at the highest levels killed the California waiver. The people of California and the other states have a right to know how this indefensible decision happened, and we demand that EPA and the Bush White House turn over the documents we have asked for immediately,” Boxer said.

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