Until last month, Jason Burnett was a high-ranking political appointee at the Environmental Protection Agency. But "after concluding there was no more progress to be made on greenhouse gases under the Bush administration," he resigned.
The AP reported recently:
[Burnett] helped developed the EPA's response to last year's Supreme Court ruling that the agency had the authority to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
But work on the issue was put on hold in December after Congress passed legislation enacting tougher automobile mileage requirements. Johnson has acknowledged that the next administration probably will have to decide whether carbon dioxide endangers public health as a greenhouse gas. The EPA is expected soon to issue a draft finding for public comment.
"I think that most people who have studied the Clean Air Act recognize the challenges posed by the Supreme Court case, but the nation is best served by confronting those challenges, not trying to delay the inevitable," Burnett said in an interview.
Now Burnett is trying a new path to reducing the threat of global warming: aiding Barack Obama.
After submitting his resignation last month, he donated $3,600 to Democrat Barack Obama's presidential campaign. That came on top of a $1,000 contribution he made to Obama before rejoining the EPA last year.
A Stanford-trained economist and a Democrat, Burnett, 31, said in an interview that he was moving back to Northern California to campaign for Obama and Rep. Sam Farr (D-Carmel).
He said he was counting on them to support stepped-up efforts to curb greenhouse gases.
"Climate change endangers health and welfare," Burnett said. "The EPA is required to use existing law to reduce greenhouse gases. The sooner we begin addressing it in earnest, the better off we'll be."