Henry Writes a Letter to Department of Transportation Secretary Mary Peters

Brian Zick

The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform announces: In a letter to DOT Secretary Peters, Chairman Waxman asks for documents and an interview relating to apparent efforts by the Department to lobby Members of Congress to oppose efforts by California and other states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles. Laura McGann for TPM Muckraker provides some details. Heideh Shahmoradi, an aide at the Transportation Department, left a voicemail message for an unidentifed member of Congress which urges the unnamed official to take a stand on California’s move to enforce tougher carbon emission standards because “this would greatly impact the auto facilities” in the member’s district. Waxman wants Shahmoradi deposed for the committee and he's requested copies of all documentation related to the incident. From the letter: I have learned that the Department of Transportation has urged members of Congress to oppose efforts by California and other states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles. Such an effort by the Department appears to be highly inappropriate and would be considered by some to be illegal. I am writing to request your assistance in providing the Oversight Committee with information regarding this matter. (…) It is not an appropriate use of federal resources to lobby members of Congress to oppose state efforts to protect the environment. It is especially problematic on an issue that is pending for decision before the Administration and that is supposed to be decided based on an independent assessment of the merits. At the very least, Ms. Shamoradi's call suggests the presence of an improper hidden agenda.

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