We all ignore a few e-mails in our overflowing inboxes. But leaving an e-mail about the threat of global warming unopened? When you're leading the United States of America?
Probably not a good idea.
Nonetheless, that is exactly what happened when an e-mail sent last December from the EPA to the White House indicated that, indeed, global warming and greenhouse gases are a threat to public health and welfare, according to the AP.
The e-mail was never opened.
The EPA and 17 states have been embroiled in legal dealings over the issue for some time. In 2007 the Supreme Court ruled that the EPA has the authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.
In order to regulate greenhouse gases, however, the Bush administration must first decide whether greenhouse gases and global warming threaten public health. And that has proved tricky.
Jason Burnett, an EPA associate deputy administrator who resigned this month over the agency's lack of response to the Supreme Court decision in April 2007, is quoted: "The final decision was that the ramifications of that finding were so profound for the nation, that this administration didn't want to have to confront the inevitable."
This week, a federal appeals court refused to make the Bush administration speed up its decision on greenhouse gases and global warming, and instead, the EPA is expected to issue a proposal that seeks public comment on a range of options the agency could take to control greenhouse gases under current law, according to the AP. However, the agency will not take a position on whether greenhouse gases should be regulated.
Dan Becker, a consultant to environmental groups, said, "The White House is basically ordering EPA to do what they want them to do. They are going to couch the language in a way that gives the administration an out. They are already not reading their e-mails."
Hmm. Maybe it's time to face the inbox.
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