Tuesday, December 12, 2006

EPA oks California lawnmower standards; Kit Bond finally loses; what's next?

We’ve had enough bad news from EPA in recent days: EPA considers dropping lead standard; EPA downgrades role of scientists; EPA gives sweetheart deal to cement makers.

So it’s heartening to learn that something good does happen occasionally.

In this case, it’s EPA decision to approve California’s request to set better clean air standards for lawnmowers and other small engines.

Those of you who have followed this story will recall that it is the latest chapter in four-year saga pitting California’s desire for cleaner air against special interest polluter Briggs & Stratton and its Senate spear carrier, Kit Bond (R-MO).

These opponents of clean air finally backed down in the face of compelling evidence by California that the standards were needed and easily achievable. From what we’ve heard, it didn’t hurt that retailers such as WalMart expressed the desire to sell cleaner products.

This is a real victory for California breathers.

Now it’s time for EPA to follow through with its promise to set national standards that mirror the California standards. (Recall that Congress rolled over to Kit Bond’s play to take away the right of other states to adopt California’s standards.)

It’s time for EPA to follow up by approving California’s greenhouse gas emission standards for motor vehicles.

We’ve got one significant victory here for states’ rights. Now it’s time for another.

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