Carol Browner, former Clinton administration EPA head and current Obama White House climate czar, instructed auto industry execs “to put nothing in writing, ever” regarding secret negotiations she orchestrated regarding a deal to increase federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards.
Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-WI, is demanding a congressional investigation of Browner’s conduct in the CAFE talks, saying in a letter to Rep. Henry Waxman, D-CA, that Browner “intended to leave little or no documentation of the deliberations that lead to stringent new CAFE standards.”
Federal law requires officials to preserve documents concerning significant policy decisions, so instructing participants in a policy negotation concerning a major federal policy change could be viewed as a criminal act.
Waxman is chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. Sensenbrenner is the ranking Republican member of the panel.
Browner’s informal directive was previously reported by The New York Times. Sensebrenner’s letter is being made public tomorrow. A copy was made available to The Examiner by an official with knowledge of the controversy.
Sensenbrenner also wants a congressional investigation of why a global warming study by Alan Carlin, an EPA economist who is a career civil servant, was suppressed by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and other senior agency officials. The study warned of seriously damaging economic consequences for small businesses if the agency moved to regulate CO2 gases as illegal emissions under the Clean Air Act.