Talking Points Memo and The New York Times bring us the news that the Bush administration chose to deal with an EPA policy recommendation on global warming last year by, um, never reading it. The Times reports,
The White House in December refused to accept the Environmental Protection Agency’s conclusion that greenhouse gases are pollutants that must be controlled, telling agency officials that an e-mail message containing the document would not be opened, senior E.P.A. officials said last week.
Awful, but who’s really surprised that the official White House response to any news it would rather not acknowledge is “La la la, I can’t hear you?” It is similarly, sadly not-shocking that the White House is currently attempting to prevent anyone else from reading EPA findings, either:
Simultaneously, [chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee] Waxman’s committee is weighing its response to the White House’s refusal to turn over subpoenaed documents relating to the E.P.A.’s handling of recent climate-change and air-pollution decisions. The White House, which has turned over other material to the committee, last week asserted a claim of executive privilege over the remaining documents.
In an interview on Sunday, Mr. Fratto, the White House spokesman, said the committee chairmen did not understand the legal precedent underlying executive privilege. “There is a long legal history supporting the principle that the president should have the candid advice of his advisers,” Mr. Fratto said.
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