The House Oversight and Government Reform committee uncovered an effort last week by the Department of Transportation, in conjunction with the Auto Alliance - a trade group representing Ford, DaimlerChrysler, and others, to thwart California's legislation to cut greenhouse gas emissions from cars by 25% and SUVs by 18% slated to start in 2009. Under the Clean Air Act, in order to enact more stringent emissions standards, a federal waiver must be granted through the EPA. In order to fight this waiver's approval, the Auto Alliance has furbished the DOT with a breakdown of auto facilities and workers in each congressional district. One of the 70 pages of memos and emails released by the DOT on the matter contained an email from Simon Gros, deputy chief of staff, to Transportation Secretary Mary Peters instructing, "Just hit the members/senators with the really big facilities. No need to call those with small distribution centers or anything." These documents once again show the true nature of the Bush Administration - working hand in hand with big business to undermine and halt legislation dealing with climate change and conservation. Despicable.
Fortunately, Nancy Pelosi and Governor Schwarzenegger are ready to fight this manipulation of power and have warned the EPA that a lawsuit may be forthcoming. Although the DOT maintains that no lobbying laws have been broken, to many of us, this is simply another example of how corrupt the legalized bribery system we call lobbying really is.
and Red Orbit