Washington Post Compares EPA Chief to Mr. Magoo

At a recent Senate hearing, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) had this back-and-forth with EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson:

Feinstein, who chairs the Appropriations subcommittee that controls the EPA’s budget, asked why Johnson had not yet complied with a Supreme Court ruling a year ago in Massachusetts v. EPA that required him to come up with ways to regulate greenhouse gases.

“I find this unbelievable on behalf of what is called an environmental protection agency,” Feinstein said, “and there’s a finding of the United States Supreme Court telling you to do something.”

“Well, Madam Chairman,” Johnson eloquently intoned, doing a spectacular imitation of Mr. Magoo wandering about in the smog, “I respectfully disagree that this is an easy decision….I think Justice Scalia actually set it up as, in essence, a three-part test for me and this would be my brief summary, and that is: If the agency finds — if I find that there’s endangerment, then under the Clean Air Act I must regulate. If I find that there is not, that’s test one. If I find that there is not endangerment, then I should not regulate. Or third, if there are other circumstances….”

If he finds there’s endangerment? Did he read the reports his own EPA helped put out last week detailing the huge economic risks posed by even a modest sea level rise?

The multiagency reports cited the Port of Wilmington in Delaware as an example. The report says that if the sea level rises by two feet or even a bit less, 70 percent of port property will be affected.800pxastrakhan_flooded_tram_tracks

Meanwhile, it says, such a rise in sea level would leave almost 2,200 miles of major roads and almost 900 miles of rail lines in Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and the District of Columbia “at risk for regular inundation.”

If that’s not endangerment, what is?

Unfortunately, this administration has proven it won’t recognize the risks of climate change until the Chesapeake Bay is lapping at the front steps of the White House.