The Associated press reports that EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson got a rough grilling from the Democratic Senate majority at a hearing today:
At issue were a number of changes EPA made last year, including a new policy that reduces the role of scientists in setting air pollution standards; a move to raise the threshold for reporting releases of toxic chemicals; and the shuttering of five agency libraries where the public could look at scientific and health documents.
A Government Accountability Office study released Tuesday said that EPA did not adhere to its own rule-making in making the changes to toxic chemicals reporting. The Toxic Reporting Inventory changes, said GAO, “will likely have a significant impact on information available to the public about dozens of toxic chemicals” at facilities nationwide.
It’s no surprise that the administration is ignoring scientific evidence, not following its own rules, and reducing public participation. But then something else jumps out. Former chair James Inhofe of Oklahoma, who infamously invited Michael Crichton to the committee to attack climate change theorists, ridiculed the notion that the EPA should even have libraries. He pointed to, among other things, that one EPA library had a copy of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax on its shelves.
When the Republicans are reduced to attacking Dr. Seuss, you know that they’ve got problems. Seuss’ book is actually a classic statement of the environmental movement: there’s a reason why it’s been in print for three decades. But perhaps it’s a little too much to ask Senator Inhofe to read the book he’s attacking.