Contributing Monkie G Living Staff Monkies
Published on January 4, 2008
Eerily close to the touted “triumphs” in Bali and in the Energy Bill, comes a new edict from the Bush administration: the EPA will handle CO2 policy, not individual states. On the heels of the EPA denying California’s bid to limit vehicle CO2 emissions, EPA administrator Stephen L. Johnson announced late Wednesday that “the Bush administration is moving forward with a clear national solution — not a confusing patchwork of state rules.”
A clear solution? The only “solutions” to come from Washington in the last 7 years are “voluntary emission restrictions” and, just this week, an energy bill with the hollow requirement of increasing the American fleet’s fuel efficiency to 35 mpg by 2020 (the first increase in 32 years!). And now, the Bush administration wants to prohibit states from setting stricter emissions standards that take effect immediately.
Just when you thought they couldn’t do any more damage, this administration continues its onslaught of horrible policy. California was truly leading the way by requiring auto makers to reduce tailpipe emissions 30% by 2016 with cutbacks starting with 2009 models. Sixteen other states had signed on with California, but now no one has the authority to enforce these limits – except, of course, industry’s lap dogs in the Bush White House.
Of all the attacks on environmental policy from this administration, this ruling is perhaps the most damaging because it serves as a frontal assault on states’ abilities to limit pollution themselves. States know their own unique pollution problems and they should certainly be allowed to set stricter standards than the federal government. Automakers will take notice, too. If over 30% of states – including the biggest auto markets – decide they want more-efficient vehicles, cars will be cleaner. Bush should take some of his own free-market advice on this one.
Only one more year…
For more on this story from NY Times DotEarth, click here.