Monday, May 14, 2007

Bush tries to sideswipe California greenhouse gas standards

By now you may have seen the new Bush administration Executive Order regarding greenhouse gas emissions.

This appears to be an attempt to sideswipe the greenhouse gas standards developed by the state of California and adopted by 11 other states. The Bush administration apparently wants to knock those standards off the road.

As you may know, California is seeking US EPA permission to put those greenhouse gas standards into effect. (For background, see http://www.cleancarscampaign.org/index.html ) EPA has scheduled two hearings on the matter – one of them next week in the DC area.

Why do I say this looks like a sideswipe? Under the new Bush plan, EPA would have to gain the “concurrence” of other federal agencies such as the Energy and Transportation Departments before moving ahead with any plan to limit greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Council on Environmental Quality would oversee the effort.

In other words, the White House has just wrapped the EPA in a straitjacket of bureaucratic process.

A simple decision on the California request – “yes” would be the simple and correct answer – has just been made a LOT more complicated.

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