I remember when lying to Congress was a big deal

It’s hard to keep up with all the misconduct in the Bush administration. This week four Democratic senators called for the resignation of  Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. Evidence emerged that Johnson lied to Congress about why he denied California’s request for a waiver of the Clean Air Act last December. Two senators are also asking for a perjury investigation of Johnson. Click the link for more details and background.

California has adopted tougher emissions standards for cars and trucks, and other states have followed suit, but the standards cannot be implemented unless the EPA approves the waiver request. Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller and at least 18 other state attorneys general have joined California in suing the EPA over this issue.

I always laugh when Republicans who claim to be for states’ rights object when states try to impose stronger environmental standards than the federal government. But what Johnson did was worse than hypocrisy. In denying California’s waiver request, Johnson blocked state efforts to deal with pollution from motor vehicles, even though surface transportation is the second-largest contributor to U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

You would think this scandal would warrant some media coverage, but I’d never have heard of this story if I hadn’t read about it on political blogs.

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