- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
While rumors had been floating for some time that Lisa P. Jackson would step down as the EPA administrator for President Obama’s second term, she made it official in December by announcing she would leave after the 2013 inauguration. Since then, rumors have floated about who her replacement would be. Many are speculating that the Assistant Administrator, Gina McCarthy is at the top of the short list but she is not talking publically. Other assistants as well as former top EPA employees are also on the rumor mill.
On Feb. 8, 2013, the EPA placed an announcement in the Federal Register that should be a hint for people to understand just where that direction might be. Notice the release was in the Friday edition. A number of things about this release cause me concern.
The first item is that the release mentions that the agency has published a draft document and they want public comment by April 8. They provide a name for the document -- Climate Change Adaptation Plan -- and a link to a page where one is supposed to be able to find the document using the supplied document number. The link took me to a general page but no matter where I went after that, I could not find the document. Some links sent me to the "Page Not Found" dead end. In the end, I used a general search engine, which led me to a report that discussed the document and provided me with a link to a document that appears to be the right one. Use http://epa.gov/climatechange/pdfs/EPA-climate-change-adaptation-plan-final-for-public-comment-2-7-13.pdf to view and download a copy.
The FR release begins by make the statement, "Scientific evidence demonstrates that the climate is changing at an increasingly rapid rate, outside the range to which society has adapted in the past." This conclusion has been proclaimed by the agency for some time now in speeches and in writting. It has been used to justify some of the regulations that were releases such as GHG reporting.
However, later in the document, the agency wrote, "Until now, EPA has been able to assume that climate is relatively stable and future climate would mirror past climate." To me, that statement means that the agency has not, at least up to now, embraced the idea of climate change. The very next sentence pretty much repeats the opening statement and then they go on to say that climate change is impacting their ability to fulfill their mission. In other words, it is so bad that they cannot do their job and apparently just not took notice.
I think it would be a good idea for those who are particularly tasked with air issues to pull up the draft plan and read it. It is 55 pages long and no matter what side of the argument you decide to stand on, send in your comments to the agency. By laying this out, the EPA has let everyone know the direction they plan to take post Jackson and do not be surprised if the pace does not pick up. The agency noted in the release that they were following mandates from the president's past executive orders and there is no reason to doubt that more such orders will be coming down the pike if they think they need them.