RUSH: Let’s go to the audio sound bites. I want to go to #15 first. Oh, man, this is so cool. This is so cool. I want you to listen to the EPA administrator, Steve Johnson.
JOHNSON: Today I’m exercising my authority under the Clean Air Act to temporarily wave specific standards for gasoline and diesel fuels to ensure that the Hurricane Katrina natural disaster does not result in serious fuel supply interruptions around the country. As we’re all well aware we’re seeing increasing serious impacts from the hurricane in a number of fuel markets around the United States. Yesterday afternoon I exercised this authority with respect to four states: Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. It has become clear that the consequences of the hurricane have become more widespread. So today I’m sending letters to the governors of the remaining 46 states and territories providing temporary relief from volatility and sulfur standards. This action will result in a needed increase in fuel supply. These waivers are necessary to ensure that fuel is available throughout the country, to address public health issues, and emergency vehicle supply needs. Under the Clean Air Act emergency authority, I am making the waivers effective through September the 15th, 2005. These waivers only apply to the volatility standards, the rate at which fuel evaporates, and the amount of sulfur in diesel fuel. EPA is committed to working with our state and federal partners to address this extraordinary national disaster.
RUSH: So the upshot of this is, is that the EPA administrator has taken the authority under the Clean Air Act and temporarily rescinded all these restrictions that retard distribution of gasoline. It’s only through September 15th of this year, but that’s a start. I want to predict there’s going to be caterwauling about this. The environmentalists are going to raise hell, and they’re going to start talking, “This is the kind of thing that will create even more global warming that will cause more hurricanes,” blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I wish it were for a little longer because I think this is going to go on a little longer, this domino effect, but we’ll see. They may do this in stages. Here Michael Chertoff who is the homeland security director.
CHERTOFF: President Bush has declared a major disasters for affected areas in Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama. Along with these declarations, the full range of federal resources and capabilities is being directed as we speak to assist and protect those citizens who have borne the brunt of this catastrophe. The Department of Homeland Security has declared this an incident of national significance. The first-ever use of this designation under the new national response plan. The national response plan which was stood up earlier this year, gives the Department of Homeland Security the lead responsibility to coordinate federal response and recovery efforts. The plan is designed to bring together all federal resources, to increase our ability to quickly get relief to those who need it most.
RUSH: And finally, the energy secretary, Samuel Bodman who actually followed the remarks by the EPA administrator, Steve Johnson.
BODMAN: I would like to thank particularly Administrator Johnson and his colleagues at EPA. The entire staff of the EPA has worked very hard to get this waiver through to increase the supply of gasoline throughout the nation, and as I just spoke to Secretary Chertoff, in my view this is really a big deal. This is something that should materially change the supply of gasoline fuels in our country.
RUSH: No question about it. Absolutely no question about it. We have 40 different formulations. They can only use a certain kind of formulation in Chicago. In California, they have multiple formulations for different parts of the state. So rescind these things temporarily to ease this distribution problem. It is not a supply problem. We have plenty of supply. Well, in the gasoline it may be a supply problem temporarily because of the refineries in the Gulf that were affected but it is going to profoundly improve the situation with the temporary rescinding of these restrictions that — and it’s a great illustration of who’s put them there. You know, this has not happened legislatively. This has happened via courts and activist bureaucrats and so forth with sympathies tied to militant, leftist environmentalists. I mean, this is cool. This is one of the things I first said this morning ought to be done and bammo! They had their press conference just earlier this hour.