Issue Date: August 4, 2008
Senators Call For EPA Chief To Resign
Four Democratic senators last week called for EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson to resign and asked the Justice Department to investigate whether Johnson lied to Congress. The lawmakers are concerned about Johnson's December 2007 decision forbidding California to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from new cars and trucks sold in the state. Earlier this year, Johnson told the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee that he made the determination independently, as required by the Clean Air Act. In July, former EPA official Jason Burnett told the committee that Johnson initially had decided to allow California to regulate vehicle greenhouse gases. After consulting with the White House, however, Johnson changed the determination to comport with the President's policy preferences, Burnett said. In addition to calling for Johnson to resign, Sens. Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Frank R. Lautenberg (N.J.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), and Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) want a Justice Department probe into whether Johnson made false or misleading statements to Congress about his decision. A statement from EPA says, "The administrator's comments to Congress are honest and he will continue to lead the agency."
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