Statement of Senator Jim Jeffords
Ranking Member, Senate Environment and Public Works Committee
On Cloture Vote for Stephen L. Johnson to be Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency As I have said before, Stephen Johnson is a good man and will make a good Administrator for the EPA. But I will stand with Senator Carper tomorrow and vote against moving forward with Mr. Johnson’s nomination at this time. My vote against cloture tomorrow will be a vote against the Bush Administration’s policy of denying Congress the information it needs to fulfill its legitimate legislative and oversight responsibilities. My vote will be a vote against the Administration's manipulation of science and facts to suit only their supporters’ needs. Since 2001 the members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee have asked numerous times in numerous ways for the EPA to conduct analysis on the health impacts and cost/benefits of multi-pollutant legislation. This is analysis and modeling that only the EPA can do. For more than four years the Bush Administration has instructed the EPA to obstruct our efforts as part of an effort to mask the deficiencies of their policies. At this point the Agency has probably spent more time thinking up creative ways to avoid our requests than it would have taken to simply respond to them in the first place. All we are asking for is the same analysis from the EPA that it provided for the President’s plan. I commend Senator Carper for his passion and commitment in seeking the information and analysis we have requested from the EPA. This information is necessary if any fair and honest negotiations on multi-pollutant legislation can take place. So far, the Administration has made sure that it holds all the cards and refuses to let Congress play in the game.