Oversight

• HOUSE ENERGY AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE: (09/25/08) — Chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.) wrote to Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson requesting information about a magazine report that raised questions about the testing protocols of a popular energy efficiency program called Energy Star.
Consumer Reports announced that it conducted an investigation into the program and found that “lax standards and out-of-date protocols plague the federal program.”

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The report, to be published in the magazine’s October issue, cites five refrigerator models that use much higher amounts of electricity in normal use than in tests conducted for Energy Star certification, Dingell notes in the letter.

He requests that both Bodman and Johnson, whose agencies jointly administer the Energy Star program, agree with the findings by Consumer Reports and detail what they plan to do to address the concerns it raises.

• HOUSE TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE COMMITTEE: (09/24/08) — Chairman Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.) and Energy and Commerce Chairman Dingell used the results of a Government Accountability Office study to criticize the Bush administration’s proposal to ease air quality reporting requirements on large feedlots.

The GAO found that large, so-called Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations can emit dangerous levels of air- and waterborne pollutants.

Dingell said that the study supports Democrats’ contention that the administration’s plan to exempt industrial-sized animal feeding operations from emissions reporting requirements is a “favor” to large agribusinesses at the expense of public health.

• HOUSE NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE: (09/24/08) — Democrats also used a new report to criticize the Bush administration’s management of the national wildlife refuge system.
Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans subcommittee chairwoman Del. Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam) said the GAO report shows how budget cuts were endangering the health of the refuges.

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