Arnold Schwarzenegger, who gave a rather good speech today here at the U.N. climate summit, is famously attempting to cut California’s greenhouse-gas emissions. Now come accusations that the White House is behind a lobbying effort to get the U.S. EPA to reject Schwarzenegger’s plan to regulate GHGs from cars and trucks.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chair of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, got wind of the situation. Writes Jesse Lee in “The Gavel,” Speaker Pelosi’s blog:

Chairman Waxman has obtained internal e-mails which show that Transportation Secretary Mary Peters personally directed a behind-the-scenes lobbying campaign approved by the White House to oppose EPA approval of California’s landmark standards reducing greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles.

Waxman sent a stern letter [PDF] about the issue to James Connaughton, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality:

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I am writing to ask you to repudiate these [lobbying] efforts. Under the federal Clean Air Act, EPA’s decision on California’s application to regulate greenhouse gases from motor vehicles is supposed to be made on the merits. If you or Transportation Secretary Mary Peters have views about the merits of the decision, you should submit comments to EPA that are considered on their merits. It is not an appropriate use of taxpayer dollars to organize a lobbying campaign to politicize this vital regulatory decision.