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21-Jan-2008, 06:52 PM #1
why so adversarial?
i need somebody to 'splain this to me, 'cause i don't get it

a bit o background....california had requested "permission to impose what would have been the country's toughest greenhouse gas standards on cars, trucks and sports utility vehicles."

and sixteen other states were either ready or considering whether or not to impose those California standards, had they been approved.

http://www.physorg.com/news119949097.html

Quote:
Invoking executive privilege, the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday refused to provide lawmakers with a full explanation of why it rejected California's greenhouse gas regulations......including a presentation that Senate aides said predicted EPA would lose a lawsuit if it went to court for denying California's waiver.

The EPA informed Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., that many of the documents she had requested contained internal deliberations or attorney-client communications that would not be shared now with Congress.
ok....
then why go on and say this?
Quote:
EPA spokesman Jonathan Shradar said Boxer and her aides were welcome to view and take notes on all the documents.


or....
why make this an issue
Quote:
" The EPA is concerned about the chilling effect that would occur if agency employees believed their frank and honest opinions and analysis expressed as part of assessing California's waiver request were to be disclosed in a broad setting," EPA's associate administrator Christopher P. Bliley wrote.
and then make this one?
Quote:
"Further disclosure of this type of confidential information could jeopardize the agency's ability to effectively litigate claims related to California's waiver request," the EPA's Bliley wrote.
i thought all these government employees were being paid by our tax dollars, and this is a far cry from a national security issue........so why is it exactly that we, their employers, are denied access to their information and deliberations?

Quote:
Earlier this month, California and 15 other states sued the EPA in a bid to force the agency to review its decision. The lawsuit was another reason cited by the agency Friday for keeping its decision-making documents private.
defend themselves against what?
rethinking their decision?
full disclosure?

are these things so bad nowadays?
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Last edited by iltos; 21-Jan-2008 at 06:58 PM..
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21-Jan-2008, 07:04 PM #2
Quote:
Originally Posted by iltos View Post
i need somebody to 'splain this to me, 'cause i don't get it
"Further disclosure of this type of confidential information could jeopardize the agency's ability to effectively litigate claims related to California's waiver request," the EPA's Bliley wrote.

i thought all these government employees were being paid by our tax dollars, and this is a far cry from a national security issue........so why is it exactly that we, their employers, are denied access to their information and deliberations?
Because there would be no frank discussion of the pros and cons on any legislation if the participants (read that as career federal employees) are subject to suit by anyone at any time. Frankly, you couldn't get the quality of employee you need to make these kinds of decisions if they are going to get sued. The political appointee who is going to sign his or her name to the decision of the agency needs to know that the consensus of the career employees was reached without fear of retaliation or retribution.
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21-Jan-2008, 07:17 PM #3
Iltos have you ever had the misfortune of being caught up in any negotiations with state or local agencies? I have and let me tell you they can twist and distort things so you would not recognize what they claim you stated.

I think part of this is a culture where these agencies (and my work involves issues which are directly effected by EPA policies) get caught up in one oneupmanship. They are no different than politicians. They formulate policy the same as our elected officials. I imagine there are some issues they discuss which they would be embarrassed by as it would show how they arrive at some of the insane rules and regulations they foist on us.

Having said that if all of their notes and discussions are made public they would be subjected to the very same parsing and distortions which they use against those opposed to their views. There probably is a reasonable balance between providing some daylight to how they work without airing out every little comment regardless of its importance or validity.
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21-Jan-2008, 07:20 PM #4
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Originally Posted by Bastiat View Post
Because there would be no frank discussion of the pros and cons on any legislation if the participants (read that as career federal employees) are subject to suit by anyone at any time. Frankly, you couldn't get the quality of employee you need to make these kinds of decisions if they are going to get sued. The political appointee who is going to sign his or her name to the decision of the agency needs to know that the consensus of the career employees was reached without fear of retaliation or retribution.
i don't understand why THEY would be sued?...i mean the director of the EPA is the guy in charge, right?.....if there's any responsibility anywhere, it's his

plus...it's not even a suit as i'd think of it anyway, is it? ....CA just demanded they reconsider their decision.....at the most, it seems to me they'd either say , "yeah, well, ok....go ahead"....or they have to go into more depth as to why they are refusing the permission....

which is all anyone is after anyway.
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21-Jan-2008, 07:21 PM #5
BTW are they proposing stonger standards in CA? If so I would think the EPA would lose in court. At least where I have some knowledge local rules can be tougher but never weaker. of course that is not quite true. The FEDS blackmail the states into compliance. By threatening the cut off of funding.

And yeah we have states rights.........
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21-Jan-2008, 07:24 PM #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by iltos View Post
i don't understand why THEY would be sued?...i mean the director of the EPA is the guy in charge, right?.....if there's any responsibility anywhere, it's his

plus...it's not even a suit as i'd think of it anyway, is it? ....CA just demanded they reconsider their decision.....at the most, it seems to me they'd either say , "yeah, well, ok....go ahead"....or they have to go into more depth as to why they are refusing the permission....

which is all anyone is after anyway.
You don't understand Bob

The EPA dictates. If a state wants a variance or waiver they have to beg for it.

And at least with my work the state is very quickly eliminating waivers and variances.

The EPA audits how the state manages our rules. If they fail the audit then the EPA threatens to come in and run the program for them. The state always caves.
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21-Jan-2008, 07:25 PM #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by iltos View Post
i don't understand why THEY would be sued?...i mean the director of the EPA is the guy in charge, right?.....if there's any responsibility anywhere, it's his

plus...it's not even a suit as i'd think of it anyway, is it? ....CA just demanded they reconsider their decision.....at the most, it seems to me they'd either say , "yeah, well, ok....go ahead"....or they have to go into more depth as to why they are refusing the permission....

which is all anyone is after anyway.
You're kidding right? Some middle level federal staff scientist goes on record as stating that the Calif. scientists are full of crap (he'd be much more circumspect but the meaning would be the same) and you don't think he'd be named?

So EPA says to Calif. "Thank you for your "demand" that we review our decision. We decline to do so." Guess what happens next? Lawsuit. The demand is only done because of a procedural requirement to do so before filing suit. There is a requirement in the law that all administrative avenues be attempted before a lawsuit id filed. Calif. is only asking because of this requirement. Calif. has intended to sue the whole time.
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21-Jan-2008, 07:26 PM #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by wacor View Post
Iltos have you ever had the misfortune of being caught up in any negotiations with state or local agencies? I have and let me tell you they can twist and distort things so you would not recognize what they claim you stated.

I think part of this is a culture where these agencies (and my work involves issues which are directly effected by EPA policies) get caught up in one oneupmanship. They are no different than politicians. They formulate policy the same as our elected officials. I imagine there are some issues they discuss which they would be embarrassed by as it would show how they arrive at some of the insane rules and regulations they foist on us.

Having said that if all of their notes and discussions are made public they would be subjected to the very same parsing and distortions which they use against those opposed to their views. There probably is a reasonable balance between providing some daylight to how they work without airing out every little comment regardless of its importance or validity.
i grant you, i'm an idealist in this thread....and i thought of the same thing....that their words and their reasoning would get shredded beyond anything remotely suggesting their original intent.....(why?.... because we've become suckers for that kind of thing)

but -if all that is so true- why did that EPA guy said that boxer and her aids could see all the documents and take notes?.....so they could attack the truth of boxer's findings, if she pursued it personally?....and turn it into a partisan battle, rather than an issue of the feds vs. the states?

it all just seems too representative of the political bs we've grown to accept as our government -regardless of who's running the show.
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21-Jan-2008, 07:28 PM #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by iltos View Post
but -if all that is so true- why did that EPA guy said that boxer and her aids could see all the documents and take notes?.....so they could attack the truth of boxer's finding, if she pursued it personally?
Because he is a friggin Idiot! There will be a retraction/ explanation issued very quickly, I guarantee it.
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21-Jan-2008, 07:29 PM #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by iltos View Post
i grant you, i'm an idealist in this thread....and i thought of the same thing....that their words and their reasoning would get shredded beyond anything remotely suggesting their original intent.....(why, because we've become suckers for that kind of thing)

but -if all that is so true- why did that EPA guy said that boxer and her aids could see all the documents and take notes?.....so they could attack the truth of boxer's findings, if she pursued it personally?....and turn it into a partisan battle, rather than an issue of the feds vs. the states?

it all just seems too representative of the political bs we've grown to accept as our government -regardless of who's running the show.
Well we get stuff here that is ok by one person who one would think is in a position of power and later get turned down. It is simple Bob, the guy overstepped his authority and got overruled.
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21-Jan-2008, 07:31 PM #11
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Originally Posted by Bastiat View Post
Because he is a friggin Idiot! There will be a retraction/ explanation issued very quickly, I guarantee it.
And for those in the know they will have a sickening chuckle how it gets turned around.

You should have heard the backtracking and BS when my application for a license was approved in writing and then when ready to take the test they said I did not qualify. There is no accountability for these people other than in a courtroom.
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21-Jan-2008, 07:33 PM #12
Sorry, like Stoner, got to go cook dinner. We are having Pot Pie.
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21-Jan-2008, 07:34 PM #13
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Originally Posted by Bastiat View Post
Sorry, like Stoner, got to go cook dinner. We are having Pot Pie.
now that was funny

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21-Jan-2008, 07:37 PM #14
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Originally Posted by Bastiat View Post
You're kidding right? Some middle level federal staff scientist goes on record as stating that the Calif. scientists are full of crap (he'd be much more circumspect but the meaning would be the same) and you don't think he'd be named?
so....we find out who's full of crap....is that a bad thing?.....
you're saying no gov. staff scientist wants to put their career in jeopardy by defending what they said....but isn't that what science is supposed to do....defend it's findings?

besides....it wasn't HIS decision....if the big muckety mucks at EPA can't adequately defend it, they it's probably a load of political bs anyway.

this welfare state don't exist in just the private sector, it seems

Quote:
So EPA says to Calif. "Thank you for your "demand" that we review our decision. We decline to do so." Guess what happens next? Lawsuit. The demand is only done because of a procedural requirement to do so before filing suit. There is a requirement in the law that all administrative avenues be attempted before a lawsuit id filed. Calif. is only asking because of this requirement. Calif. has intended to sue the whole time.
i actually kind of figgered this was the answer ....but the point remains....if it ends up being an actual lawsuit, it's purpose is only to get the EPA to come clean.....or am i still missing junk?
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21-Jan-2008, 07:40 PM #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by wacor View Post
BTW are they proposing stonger standards in CA? If so I would think the EPA would lose in court. At least where I have some knowledge local rules can be tougher but never weaker. of course that is not quite true. The FEDS blackmail the states into compliance. By threatening the cut off of funding.

And yeah we have states rights.........
yeah....much stronger....
and that's part of the issue i'm sure...the feds are preparing their new guidelines...and already, a 1/4 of the states are wondering if they're too lenient.
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