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On the Trail : THE CHECKBOOK SPEAKS

EPA ex-official gives money, time to Obama

June 28, 2008|Dan Morain

Jason Burnett has made a lot of news lately, criticizing the Bush administration for rejecting California's request for a federal waiver that would have allowed the state to enforce greenhouse gas restrictions.

Burnett, until recently the associate deputy administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, testified last month before a congressional panel about the possible White House role in overruling the EPA staff's recommendation of the waiver. Since then, Burnett has given numerous interviews on the issue.

Now Burnett is talking with his checkbook, too. 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."

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