Bush OMB Claims Public Health Endangerment As Secret

January 14, 2009

The White House Office of Management and Budget has denied a FOIA request by the online newsletter Greenwire to release EPA's public health "endangerment finding" on climate change.

More concerned about preserving the power of the presidency than about warning the public of health threats posed by global warming, the Bush OMB revealed itself as a key force behind controversial decisions by EPA. EPA Administrator Steve Johnson has loyally maintained during harsh Congressional interrogation that he alone made the decision to deny California a waiver so that it could regulate greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles. Members of the Senate Environment Committee have suggested that Johnson lied under oath in this testimony.

The document has been seen by Congressional investigators, who released portions saying unchecked greenhouse gas emissions do indeed pose a threat to the health of taxpaying Americans. The Bush White House ignored and overruled these findings so that it would not have to follow Clean Air Act provisions requiring it to regulate emissions in such cases. Campaign contributions from carbon-emitting industries such as oil, coal, utilities, and chemicals have been a mainstay of Bush political support.

Greenwire has another FOIA request pending on the matter, and this one is likely to be decided by the Obama administration.