Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Where In The World Is Dick Cheney?

And what is his precise job in the Bush administration? That has been up for some debate for a while, but it seems that he had his fingers in many a pie:

Seeking to downplay the effects of global warming, Vice President Dick Cheney's office pushed to delete references about the consequences of climate change on public health from congressional testimony, a former senior EPA official claimed Tuesday.

The former official, Jason K. Burnett, said that White House was concerned that the proposed testimony last October by the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention might make it tougher to avoid regulating greenhouse gases.

The account, described by Burnett in a July 6 letter to Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, conflicts with the White House explanation at the time that the deletions reflected concerns by the White House Office of Science and Technology over the accuracy of the science.

Burnett, until last month a senior adviser on climate change at the Environmental Protection Agency, described that Cheney's office was deeply involved in getting nearly half of the CDC's original draft testimony removed.

"The Council on Environmental Quality and the office of the vice president were seeking deletions to the CDC testimony (concerning) ... any discussions of the human health consequences of climate change," Burnett said in the letter to Boxer.

And what do the administration insiders say about this?

Megan Mitchell, a spokeswoman for Cheney's office, said that the office doesn't comment on internal deliberations. "The interagency review process exists so that agencies and offices can comment and offer their views," she wrote. "This is no different than in any other administration."

What you don't know can't hurt you, right? I guess that's the rationale for keeping the possible health effects of global climate change hidden.