or Login to see your representatives.

Access Candidates' and Representatives' Biographies, Voting Records, Interest Group Ratings, Issue Positions, Public Statements, and Campaign Finances

Simply enter your zip code above to get to all of your candidates and representatives, or enter a name. Then, just click on the person you are interested in, and you can navigate to the categories of information we track for them.

Public Statements

Press Conference With Rep. Joe Barton, Rep. James Sensenbrenner, Rep. Mike Pence, Rep. Greg Walden, Rep. John Shadegg, Rep. Steve Scalise, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Rep. John Fleming

Press Conference

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Subject: Suppression Of Reportedly Scientific Findings Contradicting The Epa Administrator's Call For Human Endangerment From Co2 Levels

Copyright ©2009 by Federal News Service, Inc., Ste. 500, 1000 Vermont Ave, Washington, DC 20005 USA. Federal News Service is a private firm not affiliated with the federal government. No portion of this transcript may be copied, sold or retransmitted without the written authority of Federal News Service, Inc. Copyright is not claimed as to any part of the original work prepared by a United States government officer or employee as a part of that person's official duties. For information on subscribing to the FNS Internet Service at www.fednews.com, please email Carina Nyberg at cnyberg@fednews.com or call 1-202-216-2706.

REP. BARTON: Well, good afternoon. I'm Congressman Joe Barton, the ranking Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee, and we're here today on a very serious matter.

We have the Obama administration, which was put into office on the pledge and the promise of openness and transparency and full disclosure and a new change in government. And one of their biggest issues is the issue of climate change and whether we should move a massive reorganization of our entire economy because of CO2 emissions.

In order to move forward, the EPA administrator had to find an endangerment finding, which is a legal term meaning the EPA administrator had to declare that there was an endangerment to human health, and, therefore, we needed to regulate this substance -- in this case, CO2.

There is a group within the EPA that's tasked with doing some of the economic and environmental analysis. And a career scientist in that group prepared an extensive report, close to 100 pages in length, in which he found that there were very serious concerns about going forward with the finding of endangerment. And that's the substance of this press conference, is how that report was suppressed, censored, prevented from going through the review process.

To start the press conference, we have the Republican conference chairman, Mike Pence of Indiana.

REP. PENCE: Thank you, Joe. I appreciate the ranking member for his -- for his leadership and for all of the distinguished members, many of whom serve on the Energy and Commerce Committee, who join me today.

We find ourselves in a remarkable moment in the life of this nation. In perhaps the worst economy in more than a generation, House Democrats are poised this week to load down the American people with a national energy tax.

Now, there's a lot of debate about what this bill might cost the average American, but there is no dispute that this Democrat cap-and- trade bill will raise the cost of energy to every American household, every small business, every family farm, and it will cost millions of American jobs. And the American people deserve to know that.

And now we find, in the aftermath of backroom deals over recent months, horse trading between Democrats one and another, between special interest groups, environmental groups. Now comes this evidence today that the Democrats here in Congress are justifying a national energy tax more political science than on real science. The American people deserve better. The American people deserve the facts. They deserve to know the truth and the reality underpinning this drive for a national energy tax.

And the American people also have a right to know that there's a better solution. House Republicans, including many of those here, worked together over recent months to cobble together an all-of-the- above energy strategy. It's called the American Energy Act. Our legislation would create jobs, achieve energy independence, and achieve a cleaner environment. We don't need backroom deals. We don't need -- we don't need political science in the place of real science. We need real solutions for our economy and our environment, and Republicans are prepared to fight for the truth and to fight for those solutions for American families.

REP. BARTON: We will now hear from Congressman Sensenbrenner, the ranking member on the climate change committee.

REP. SENSENBRENNER: Thanks very much, Joe.

What's happening here is that the EPA is cooking the books. They have suppressed a study that completely blows apart the scientific underpinnings of the endangerment finding that the EPA administrator made on CO2. And this study is being suppressed because it does not fit the Obama administration's political objectives.

Let me say right at the outset that the man who did the study is a respected scientist. He is a 37-year career employee at the EPA. He has a bachelor's degree from Caltech and a doctor's degree from MIT. And suppressing the sincere conclusions that this man made that is based upon accepted scientific standards and subject to criticism means that this administration will stop at nothing to make sure that criticism from scientists or anybody else in the administration on what they're trying to do gets out into the public (sic).

This is a case of the news media being denied the right to know. It's a case of the Congress being denied the right to know. Then it's a case of the American public denied the right to know this contrary scientific evidence. As Mr. Pence said, this is political science. It is science that is okay if it achieves the political objectives of the Obama administration, and it's no good if it puts a contrary view on the table.

And I just recall that during the campaign the Obama administration criticized President Bush and his administration for doing exactly that. So they're turning around and breaking another campaign promise, the campaign promise that they made to have their political decisions based upon sound science. But apparently it's only the sound science that they agree with.

Now I would hope that as we come up to the debate on the Democrats' cap-and-tax bill, which will be a huge transfer of wealth and outsourcing of jobs from the United States to China and India, that the American public gets a full picture of what is going on here. This is a huge tax increase. There is no way getting around that. And I would remind my Democratic colleagues that the last president that had a huge tax increase during a recession was named Herbert Hoover, and that tax increase ended up making the recession turn into a depression.

The time has come to put the brakes on this.

The time has come for us to step back and to look at science such as the science that was suppressed and made secret that was done by the EPA. And the time has come for the Obama administration to come clean. Because if they're not doing that, they're attempting to manipulate the news media, attempting to manipulate the Congress and attempting to manipulate the American public.

REP. BARTON: Congressman Walden, the ranking Republican on the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee.

REP. WALDEN: Thank you. I'm Greg Walden. I represent the people of Oregon's 2nd District. And as the ranking member said, I am the ranking Republican on the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee.

The Environmental Protection Administration rushed the endangerment finding, bypassing the normal process of accompanying a finding with proposed rules -- that's how they normally do it -- that would have required a comprehensive evaluation of the economic impacts. These e-mails open a small window into that flawed process and reveal a successful effort to silence a senior EPA professional and possibly others whose work apparently would have had a negative impact with what the Obama administration wanted.

It's time to put the spotlight of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee on the EPA's process, and the pressure it put on one of its most senior public servants and possibly others. It's time to find out why the EPA official suppressed the work of Dr. Alan Carlin and possibly other EPA staffers and successfully prevented EPA research and analysis from being considered.

Why wasn't EPA staff analysis submitted by Dr. Carlin, an MIT and Caltech scholar and a 30-year career public servant at EPA -- why was that intentionally suppressed by a superior? Did political forces within EPA want to avoid any internal analyses from its own office of environmental economics, in which Dr. Carlin was employed, that questioned the reliability of the outside data the EPA based its proposed endangerment finding upon?

We won't know the answers to questions like these until there is a full and thorough investigation. Mr. Barton and I will send a letter today to Chairman Waxman and Chairman Stupak asking for that full investigation. Hopefully, it won't be necessary to actually subpoena EPA officials involved and relevant documents to get to the truth. These e-mails that you have now suggest that Dr. Carlin was simply doing what every taxpayer should expect from public servants: a full and thorough analysis of an incredibly important policy decision. Why in the world was he and possibly others shut down?

The American people deserve an answer, and with the cooperation of Chairmen Waxman and Stupak we can actually get to the bottom of this matter. Thank you.

REP. BARTON: Before I recognize the other members, I think it's important that we actually read the e-mails in questions (sic). I think that we've given those e-mails to the people in attendance today.

We have a blown-up copy behind Mr. Walden and Mr. Sensenbrenner.

Let's -- I want to set the context, read the e-mails, and then I'll go back to some of the other members that are here.

The EPA had to issue an endangerment finding before they could propose legislation. In other words, if there's no endangerment, there's no need for this massive climate-change bill. When the Obama administration came into power in January, they immediately started the machinery to do the endangerment finding, and they set a deadline for the internal review sometime in mid-March. Administrator Jackson actually made the announcement in April of this year.

So on March the 12th, here's the first -- the first e-mail. And this is to the gentleman who has prepared this analysis. It is his his job to do this, okay? He's just doing his job. So here's the e- mail that he gets from his supervisor.

"In light of the tight schedule and the turn of events, please do not have any direct communication with anyone outside of NCEE on endangerment. There should be no meetings, no e-mails, written statements, phone calls, et cetera. All communication needs to go through Steve and me and then to Paul and then to OAR. Signed, Al McGartland, Ph.D, director, National Center for Environmental Economics.

So the first thing they do is tell this person, stop talking to people. We don't want you sharing you report; we don't want you communicating in any way. That's document number one. That's on March the 12th.

On March the 16th, the person who's been preparing the report writes back: "I have not heard from Al" -- Al being the director that I just read his e-mail -- "as of now, so presumably the decision is yours as we approach the close-of-business deadline today," which is March the 16th. "Since Friday, I have endeavored to respond to your concerns about the extent of the material and my comments that have not so far appeared in the peer-reviewed scientific literature and about the title page in the hope that you will change your decision as to forwarding my comments to Paul and then, hopefully, on to OAR." He goes on tell what he's attaching.

He concludes: "I believe my comments are valid, significant and contain references to significant new research since the cut-off for the IPCC and the CCSP inputs. They are significant because they present information critical to the justification or lack thereof for the proposed endangerment finding.

They are valid because they explain much of the observational data that have been collected, which cannot be explained by the IPCC models."

So he's going not to the director of his group but to the next in command saying, I haven't heard back. I think this thing is really important. Please help me make sure that it gets forwarded.

Okay, so then the next day, here's his response. Alan, I decided not to forward your comments. The time for discussion of such fundamental issues has passed for this round.

And this is important. And I quote, "The administrator and the administration has decided to move forward on endangerment. And your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision.

"I have stressed in previous e-mails that this is not a criteria document for climate change and greenhouse gases. I can only see one impact of your comments, given where we are in the process, and that would be a very negative impact on our office."

So get off the case, guy. We're not going to forward them. They're not helpful. You've already had a negative impact. And this would be a very negative impact on our office.

Okay, that same day, and this is from his director to this gentleman, who's been trying to get the truth out. With the endangerment finding nearly final, you need to move on to other issues and subjects. I don't want you to spend any additional EPA time on climate change. No papers, no research, at least until we see what the EPA is going to do with climate.

And he says what other things he wants him to work on. And then he says, in the last sentence, you may have heard that our budget has been cut by 66 percent.

So now, if you don't think that that's evidence of suppression -- of a critical report, a report that to this day has not been made public, it has not been made public. And we're going to have the vote, unless the speaker pulls the bill, tomorrow.

With that, I'm going to introduce Congressman Shadegg, who has some comments on this issue.

REP. SHADEGG: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I'm John Shadegg of Arizona.

I serve on both the Energy Subcommittee of the Commerce Committee and also on the Select Committee on Climate Change with Mr. Sensenbrenner.

I will tell you that I believe what you have just heard in these e-mails is nothing short of shocking. Unless they are substantially erroneous in some way that we don't know, they reveal a concentrated effort to suppress information.

I think Mr. Sensenbrenner said it right. This involves the public's right to know; it involves your right to know and your duty to inform the public; and it involves the right of us, as members of Congress, to base our decisions based on sound policy. The report that Mr. Barton is seeking, which has still not been released and is still not in your hands, could contain devastating information as to the validity of the endangerment finding.

Let me mention why that finding is so important. It literally is the foundation upon which we are moving forward. If in fact the endangerment finding is flawed, or worse still, if it has been corrupted by political pressure, which is what these e-mails suggest, that's a scandal. And it means Americans will not get policy-based legislation out of this Congress, but they'll get politically driven policy out of this Congress.

The American people need to see this report. There is a tradition of honoring whistleblowers. This gentleman looks to me like a qualified long-term employee of the agency and a whistleblower by any definition. We need to know if the information he was trying to bring forward, and his bosses and supervisors were suppressing, will change this discussion and make a dramatic difference in the scope or the size and the need of the dramatic legislation we're scheduled to vote on tomorrow.

REP. BARTON: Congressman Scalise of the committee.

REP. SCALISE: Thank you. Steve Scalise from Louisiana.

As we are now on the eve of a potential vote on this cap-and- trade energy tax, I think what we are seeing is a clear pattern of intimidation. This suppressed evidence is just one more example. Just a few weeks ago, we had seen evidence of a witness who was intimidated by the chairman of the Energy Subcommittee because that witness came and testified against the cap-and-trade legislation. They literally threatened to have FERC go and investigate his company the day -- the same day he spoke against cap-and-trade.

So what we're seeing is a culture of intimidation by this administration and by Speaker Pelosi's leadership team on a bill that is of critical importance, probably one of the most transformational energy policy changes in our country's history, a bill that literally, by all estimates, would run millions of jobs out of our country and would increase utility costs on all American families.

So I think it is critical that we get the information and have all of the facts on the table -- especially an administration who came in claiming to be the most transparent and open in history. Speaker Pelosi's made similar comments as of President Obama; and yet, what we're seeing now is a pattern and culture of intimidation against anyone who dares speak out against their liberal, radical policies.

REP. BARTON: Congressman Fleming.

REP. FLEMING: I'm Congressman John Fleming from Louisiana. I'm also a physician. And as a physician, I've always been taught that we should follow the facts. And of course, I've even said in Natural Resources, which is the committee I belong to, that we should follow the science. We should follow the facts here, and not backfill them.

Well, the implication we have here today is that that is exactly what happened; that there was a predetermined decision and that we're backfilling the facts. We're making up the science as we go along, and we're quieting voices that are out there who are actually trying to honestly come forward and say, look, there's something very wrong here.

Finally, look, this is a 640-billion-and-more (dollar) cost bill that the American people are going to have to live with for years. It's going to affect daily lives. It's going to affect your utility bills. And we've got to get this right. And we're less than 24 hours from voting on this bill, as things appear.

So I certainly appeal to everyone that we should look at this really closely, and make sure that we're really following science before we pass such a tremendously costly bill. Thank you.

REP. BARTON: Our last speaker will be Congresswoman Blackburn of Tennessee, a member of the committee.

REP. BLACKBURN: Thank you all. You know, the Democrats, who have become the party of punishment, like to say that we, the Republicans, are the party of "No." And I guess in this case you could say that we are the party of K-N-O-W, because, yes, indeed, we do want the people to know what is in this bill. We want them to know what is happening as the Democrats try to force this bill on the people of this great nation.

And I think it's important here to go back to what Mr. Scalise was just saying. We are seeing a pattern here where they don't want you to know all the facts. We saw it in intimidation of a witness. We have seen this as it has been very difficult to get people to come forward and talk.

And now, with the whistleblower over at the EPA, we see that there is suppression of information that would not agree with the position that they hold on this issue.

That is of great concern to us. Our nation has functioned so well because we have had the ability to have public debate with free and open information, and we need to continue that. And whether it is voting against an amendment to disclose what cap-and-trade would actually cost on your electric bill, on the oatmeal that you buy, on the candy bar that you buy, on the tank of gas that you're buying, or whether it is intimidating a witness or other actions that have been carried out, what we want the American people is to know what this legislation is about and know what is going to happen to their way of life if it passes.

REP. BARTON: Before we open it up for questions, I want to make one or two more comments. Then we'll do the questions.

If you go out to the Jefferson Memorial, which is my favorite memorial here in Washington, and you go in, you see the statue of Thomas Jefferson, you look up around the ceiling, and you see a quote from Jefferson. And he says, "I am unalterably opposed to every form of tyranny over the mind of man." He said that several hundred years ago.

Here we have an administration who campaigned and came into office pledging a new direction for America, an openness, a transparency -- right out of the box, one of their signature issues.

And I'm going to read this -- I'm going to read this e-mail again. "The time for such discussion of fundamental issues has passed. The administrator and the administration has decided to move forward on endangerment. And your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision. I can only see one impact of your comments, given where we are in the process, and that would be a very negative impact on our office."

Here's a man, a career scientist, over 30 years, doing his job in the National Center for Environmental Economics, and his report, which has not been officially released because it's detrimental to a predetermined decision that is adverse to what the Obama administration wants to do, is suppressed. And if that's not tyranny over the mind of man, I don't know what is.

We have this vote scheduled tomorrow. I would hope that in light of this information the administration and the speaker would postpone the vote, let us get the report, let there be appropriate hearings on this report in the various committees of jurisdiction, and then schedule the vote.

At the minimum, we deserve to know what that report is. Now, my staff has seen a copy of the report. We were able to get them to look at it very briefly, but we've not been able officially to get a copy. And I think, given just the tenor of the e-mails, at a minimum the president should release that report. He's holding a major press conference in about 30 minutes. Hopefully, he might comment on that.

Carol Browner, his environmental czar, is wandering the halls of Congress. I saw her on the elevator coming up to the press conference. I did not invite her to the press conference. Perhaps I should have. But I did tell her the general subject of the press conference, and her body language indicated that she was not very pleased.

So with that, we're more than willing to take questions. Yes, ma'am.

Q Hi. Can you tell us where your staff reviewed the report -- (off mike)?

REP. BARTON: If we had actually been able to see it for -- I don't know how long you have to look at it, 10 or 15 minutes. That's one of the things we want.

Q (Off mike.)

REP. BARTON: I think staff was able to go to EPA and look at it. (To staff) Is that correct?

STAFF (?): (Off mike.)

REP. BARTON: Oh, it wasn't through EPA. Okay.

Q Was it through -- (off mike)?

REP. BARTON: Well, that's one of the things. We want an official report. We want the EPA to release it, and so far they've refused to.

Q And then the second questions, and then I'll (cede ?) to my colleagues. The first analysis of endangerment was through the -- (off mike) -- proposed rulemaking released under the Bush administration -- (off mike) -- comments, which were considered, and came to the same conclusion that greenhouse gas does constitute endangerment. What makes you think that these comments this time around would have changed the conclusion?

REP. BARTON: I don't -- I'm not saying they would have changed the conclusion. But what I am saying is, they should have been a part of the discussion at the policymaking level; and the e-mails clearly show that they were never forwarded.

REP. SENSENBRENNER: From my understanding of what's in the report, is that the studies argue that the EPA used dated material in reaching their endangerment conclusion, and that the argument was that the EPA was relying on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's fourth assessment, which was already over three years old.

Now the IPCC is this U.N.-sponsored group that is headed by Dr. Pachauri, who is a scientist whose home and headquarters is in New Delhi, India, and that the Carlin report talked about the more recent peer review studies that questioned some of the IPCC's conclusions.

Now if you've looked at the debate on this issue, you know all along the IPCC's conclusions have been kind of written in stone tablets, and they really have not been subject to the type of critical debate that is necessary to determine whether they're right or wrong. I'm not here to say whether they are right or wrong, but this is something that basically brings the IPCC's fourth assessment up to date, based upon data that has been uncovered in the last three years. And you know, that's what the issue is. You know, should we be legislating today based on something that was three years old? Given the impact of this, the answer clearly is no, we ought to step back and look at this.

REP. BARTON: Yes, ma'am?

Q Yes, sir. If your staff had to come up with a conclusive finding, what was -- (off mike)?

REP. BARTON: Well, I -- we don't have an official copy. We're trying to get that so we can study it. But it's obvious just from the comments in the e-mails that the director of this center didn't want them to go forward, because he said there -- would be negative towards the conclusion that's already been made.

So what we're saying is, let the public know, let the Congress know. It may be that if they had done their job appropriately in this round, they would have still come to the same conclusion. It's obviously they had a bias towards finding endangerment, but to not let them go forward, as somebody else has said, to me, is scandalous.

Q Have you talked to those scientists about their findings?

REP. BARTON: I have not. I haven't.

Q And are you -- (off mike)?

REP. BARTON: I haven't. I have not.

Q Several times you referred to Mr. Carlin as a "career scientist." I spoke to him this morning, and he's an economist. He has really no background in climate science. And he told me that his paper had to do 95 percent with the science behind climate change; that is, a field he has no expertise in.

So I'm wondering -- and the study also contained no original research but merely pointed to news articles and other stories that undermined the scientific consensus that human activity's causing climate change.

So I'm wondering, why should we put so much weight on his view when there's an entire scientific community that says human activity's causing climate change? Why --

REP. BARTON: Well, I'm not -- look, we're not saying --

Q -- (off mike) -- an economist with a background in climate -- (off mike)?

REP. BARTON: We're not saying that he's the world's leading expert. But he is a career staffer at the Environmental Protection Administration. He is somebody working in a group there that has a responsibility to provide input on issues of this nature. And his work was not formally submitted in that review. And if you look at the clear meaning of these e-mails, it is clear that the director of the institute says they're not helpful; the decision's already been made; and oh, by the way, they've cut our budget 66 percent; we want you to move on.

Now, how much more evidence do you need of suppression and intimidation? Had they just submitted the report, it may well be that a decision would have been made that was as it was. But we'll never know. And we still don't have the report.

REP. : And apparently Carlin's comments were the only ones that were not forwarded up the food chain. So somebody censored Carlin's comments so that it was not in the decision-making process in the EPA.

Q Do you think that's possibly because he has no background in climate-change science?

REP. : Well --

REP. BARTON: Well, he has a Ph.D., and he has a degree in physics, and --

Q Well, it's a Ph.D. in economics.

REP. BARTON: And so --

REP. : But he has a degree in physics from Caltech.

REP. BARTON: I mean, he's, again --

REP. : Yeah. That's -- (off mike).

REP. BARTON: -- if you look at some of the other material that's put out by certain people, they're -- well, I'm not going to say that, because that -- I'm not going to get too personal here.

But it's an official document by a career -- a career staffer at EPA. It should be a part of the public record. I will stick with that.

REP. : But he may not have been the only author on that.

REP. : Yeah.

REP. BARTON: That's --

REP. : There's some discussion that he may have collaborated with others.

REP. BARTON: Yeah.

Yes, sir.

REP. : These are questions we're trying to get answers to.

Q (Off mike) -- concerned about -- (off mike) --

REP. BARTON: We just want to know -- we want it to be a part of the -- if it -- it's obvious that it was not part of the decision- making process at EPA and the White House. But there are 435 men and women who are going to make a decision tomorrow. It should be a part of that decision-making process, because there are 40 to 50 members who are -- publicly listed themselves as undecided.

Whichever way the majority of them go is the way the vote's going to go, if the speaker goes ahead and holds the vote. This is information that I think would be helpful to undecided members making their decision.

Q If you're concerned about the facts, maybe you want to find out -- (off mike).

REP. BARTON: We have reached out to the EPA asking for the report. I have sent a letter to the EPA administrator asking for a lot of information on this subject. I have given -- I've asked her to reply within two weeks, because I don't expect the entire bureaucracy at the EPA to turn around on one or two days notice, but --

Q And the speaker says she has plans to -- (off mike).

REP. BARTON: Well, it is not important to me to have a personal conversation. It is important that we have -- the public has the benefit of seeing the work product of this gentleman. I accept at face value that he's credible. If he's not credible, he shouldn't have been in that position. I mean, why all of a sudden has he now become non-credible, since he is an author, or perhaps a co-author, of a report that is controversial within the Obama administration?

Again, President Obama theoretically is for openness and transparency. If Congressman Sensenbrenner is correct that this is the only document that was critical, my gosh, it's even more important that it be a part of the public discussion and be a part of the record and that the people -- the decision-makers at the White House at least knew that there was another opinion.

I mean, you know, democracy only works if everybody knows what the issues are and the facts are. I mean, that's -- that's why we have the First Amendment.

REP. SCALISE: I think there are two issues here. Number one, we don't normally deal -- we don't normally deal with individuals at agencies. We deal with agencies. And when information is brought to our attention that an agency suppressed a report, then it's appropriate to ask that agency.

Not -- I mean, I applaud the entrepreneurship of the reporters who've called him and gotten him to discuss the issue, but there are really two questions here. One, what's in the report? And I suppose we could ask him for a copy of the report. But, two, why did EPA suppress the report and write these memos?

Those are valid questions, and they deserve answers. And implicated in those answers is the EPA. What are its answers?

If the report is no big deal, written by an economist, and it shouldn't have been considered, how come the EPA didn't immediately respond to Mr. Barton and say, here's why we didn't release the report. They haven't.

Q (Off mike.)

REP. BARTON: Well, we're looking for the EPA to give us the report. If they want to give it to you, bless your heart. We want somebody in the public domain to have official access to this report.

Now, as Congressman Walden -- if we have to, we can subpoena the report. That takes a vote of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. It takes the acquiescence of the chairman of the subcommittee, Mr. Stupak, and the chairman of the full committee.

You know, we can go down that trail. The report was prepared with public resources by an employee, a civil servant, of the federal government. This is not a military secret. So it should be available. You can read it. Everybody else can read it. And then come to your own conclusions.

REP. WALDEN: And if you look at my statement, which I think you have a copy of, we're asking for a hearing on it. And it's amazing what happens, and you all have witnessed this, in the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, when you actually have witnesses there, from agencies or the private sector, and they're under oath.

I think that there are two issues here. One, why was the report suppressed, if it was? Which it appears, from these e-mails, it was. And is that a regular process? And what's the report say?

And I think, you know, people do different things when they get called up. They may act differently when they're under oath. And that's been the value of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, for a long time, under both parties.

And I dare say that if the roles were reversed, the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Mr. Waxman, would be subpoenaing instantly if he had e-mails like this, in the Bush administration, and did so regularly.

And so I don't think it's a big deal. We shouldn't have to subpoena. Let's just get a hearing. Let's get the information, get it on the record. And then we'll find out.

But it is interesting to look at the bigger picture here, which is my understanding that usually when these findings are dealt with, they're part of a rulemaking.

If you don't do a rule, you don't have to do the full economic analysis and look at the cost. That's my understanding of how this works.

And so if you want to have an endangerment finding without having to reveal the costs and do the full economic part, then you don't do the rulemaking, which is what happened here.

REP. BARTON: Any final questions?

Yes, sir.

Q One is, has the chairman indicated that he would be receptive to this investigation? And second, does he know if Carlin has presented for the EPA on climate change issues --

REP. BARTON (?): I haven't talked to Chairman Waxman directly on this, so I can't answer that. I would hope he would be receptive, given his past comments. I would think he would be receptive. As to whether Carlin has presented, there is some indication that he has presented papers outside the agency on this issue in the past.

But again, you know, we're not investigating Mr. Carlin. We are trying to get this report that is directly on point for the endangerment finding, because it is a public document. We want to review that document. We want the Congress to be aware of the document and the American public to be aware in the document.

This piece of legislation, if it comes to the floor tomorrow, and if it were to pass, and then passed the Senate and be signed by the president -- that's a lot of if, if, ifs -- but it gives the EPA administrator the explicit authority to regulate any man-made gas, at any time, if the administrator finds that the gas to be regulated has the equivalent emissions of one ton of CO2 emitted for a hundred years.

Now, that amount of emissions is almost nothing. So you're basically giving one person in America, if this bill in its current form is to become law, unimagined power, potentially, over the American economy. Since there's been, apparently, only one document within the endangerment process at the Obama administration that was, we think, critical of that endangerment, and it's been suppressed, at a minimal, we want to have that document before the vote tomorrow, if that vote in fact does occur tomorrow.

Thank you very much.

REP. : Since you all talked to Mr. -- Dr. Carlin, did he give you a copy of the report? Did you ask for it? And why didn't he release it?

Q He didn't feel it was appropriate at this time.

REP. : Interesting.

REP. : He didn't feel --

REP. : So he didn't feel it was appropriate at this time. You can understand why we're asking the questions we're asking today in saying there should be --

REP. : We don't normally question the press at a press conference. (Laughter.)

REP. : No, but -- hey, I have a journalism degree!

REP. : He wants to stay employed. (Laughter.)

REP. : Well, and that's -- I think that the point, why we should have a hearing.

Q (Off mike.)

REP. : Well, he was --

REP. : Well, look at the e-mail. They say he's not allowed to communicate with anybody on it. That's why we're asking.

REP. : Including (his boss ?).

END.


Source:
Back to top