I'm rarely shocked by stories about environmental malfeasance. But in this case, my jaw has crashed through the floor, and is well on its way to the earth's core:
The Bush administration is considering doing away with health standards that cut lead from gasoline, widely regarded as one of the nation's biggest clean-air accomplishments.Honestly, I'm speechless. This scheme has no chance of succeeding, no public support, and no conceivable scientific rationale. And that's the best you can say about it. I can't even begin to imagine the thought processes at work here.
There's also some fairly astonishing news about the EPA's ongoing war on its own libraries:
EPA is taking steps to prevent the re-opening of its shuttered libraries, including the hurried auctioning off of expensive bookcases, cabinets, microfiche readers and other equipment for less than a penny on the dollar....In case you missed it, EPA claims to have shut down these libraries because it's strapped for cash.
In its Chicago office, which formerly hosted one of the largest regional libraries, EPA ordered that all furniture and furnishings (down to the staplers and pencil sharpeners) be sold immediately. Despite an acquisition cost of $40,000 for the furniture and equipment, a woman bought the entire lot for $350. The buyer also estimates that she will re-sell the merchandise for $80,000.
One can only hope that Henry Waxman will make good use of his subpoena power.
UPDATE: Via Political Animal:
Important Bush Administration officials are ready to leave the government rather than undergo two years of hell from Democratic committee chairmen in Congress. Leading the exodus are officials of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), fearing investigation by two chairmen, Representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA) and John Dingell (D-MI).