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"Independence" Behind Firing | Oil Watchdog

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"Independence" Behind Firing

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Fri, Jun 29, 2007 at 6:52 am

    "Independence" Behind Firing

    6-29-07 by Court

     

    The other shoe over Arnold Schwarzenegger’s firing of the Air Resources Board Chief Bob Sawyer dropped in the LA Times
    today. Sawyer says the entire issue is political independence and his
    desire to move quickly on removing greenhouse gas emissions.

    Arrnold may have donned a green tie, marketed himself as the
    environmental governor and entered into treaties with Britain over
    greenhouse gases and greenhouse gas emissions, but it was just
    marketing. Schwarzenegger’s big alliegance is to his big business donors. (Chevron has not contributed $665,000 to him for nothing.) Listen to Saywer’s explanation in the Times reporting:

     "I was fired, I did not resign…. The entire issue is the independence
    of the board, and that’s why I got fired," Sawyer said in a telephone
    interview with The Times. He said that though the 11-member board is
    appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the governor, "there’s also
    an incredible tradition of independence. I have board members going all
    the way back to [Gov. Pete] Wilson’s time, and they tell me they have
    never seen such a level of interference as is occurring at this time,
    and that’s what this is all about."

    Sawyer said he had declined to fire the agency’s embattled executive
    director, Catherine Witherspoon, and objected when his longtime
    communications director Jerry Martin was also fired, then reassigned to
    another agency by the governor’s office without notifying him. Finally,
    last week, he said he was called by a Cabinet secretary who ordered him
    to limit to three the number of so-called early action measures the
    board was considering to slow global warming.

    Environmentalists
    complained bitterly that the three measures, approved by the board,
    were not enough, and Sawyer, ignoring the order he had received,
    unsuccessfully sought to persuade fellow board members to add more
    measures to the list.

    The Associated Press has more
    on the flap, with more corroborating evidence that Schwarzenegger aides
    Dan Dunmoyer and Susan Kennedy leaned hard on Sawyer to pull back on
    greehouse gas regulation. This is no little white lie about Arnold’s
    fealty to the environment, it’s a big green one. 

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