12-19-07 by dugan
The ink wasn’t dry on President Bush’s energy bill signature today when the White House denied California’s
waiver request to enforce its greenhouse emissions law. Obviously this
was a signed-and-sealed plan. The timing precluded any move by Congress
to help California and the 16 other states that want stricter auto
Good for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who immediately vowed to file suit to overturn the Environmental Protection Agency ruling.
Every single candidate for president should also stand up and promise
to restore the right of California and other states to enforce
their own clean air laws. Those who fail to speak will hear a lot of
silence from California voters on primary day, Feb. 5.
Atty Gen. Jerry
Brown, who executed California’s earlier suit to establish the EPA’s
legal right to give California a waiver to enforce its law, won his
case this year before the Supreme Court. Given that California has led
the nation since the 1966 on clean-air laws, and proved its right to
act independently of the federal government, the EPA decision seems
like nothing more than a deliberate slap that will succeed only in
delaying a law that goes into effect much faster than the energy bill’s
auto mileage standards. While he’s at it, Brown should sue to rename
the EPA. How about BADBOY, the Big Auto Defender and Big Oil Yesman?
White House argument was that the new energy bill’s mileage standards,
going fully into effect in 2020, are just as good as California’s law,
going into effect in 2016. The four-year difference is a big one in a
state whose citizens actually believe in global warming and object
choking on vehicle smog. Enforcement could also be tougher in
California. Automakers have met California’s standards before and can
do it again, despite their incessant whining.
The even bigger issue is California’s right to act. If this ruling stands, it’s another victory for the imperial presidency.
In truth, we should have seen this coming. When Sen. Dianne Feinstein could muster only a powerless "statement" in defense of California’s law as the energy debate wound down, it should have been a clue.