Reid It and Weep
The Bush administration distorted a report to the U.S. EPA by deleting the views of government experts who sought to curb emissions from snowmobiles, according to Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.). Reid has released documents (which he says he obtained from an anonymous whistleblower) showing that the Interior Department removed pro-emissions-restrictions comments from a government report that was used by the EPA to develop new standards for snowmobiles. Earlier this month, the EPA released rules requiring that snowmobiles emit 30 percent less hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide by 2006, with further cuts required by 2010 and 2012. Environmentalists say the rules didn’t go far enough, and the documents released by Reid show that government scientists also wanted the EPA to regulate particulate matter and nitrogen oxide emissions. The deleted parts of the report also questioned the agency’s proposal to average emissions restrictions across the entire fleet of snowmobiles, saying that approach might not achieve air-quality improvements in places like Yellowstone National Park.