Thursday, June 07, 2007

The myth of the "50 different state standards"

The opponents of effective controls on global warming emissions from motor vehicles have spun a myth – repeated most recently by Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) a few minutes ago -- that somehow there could be “50 different state standards” for motor vehicle emissions. This seems to be the big argument being advanced in the House Energy and Air Quality Subcommittee by those who want to kneecap California’s greenhouse gas vehicle standards, which have been adopted already by 11 other states.

Just to clarify, the Clean Air Act permits California to adopt tougher emission standards for motor vehicles if California can show the standards are needed and aren’t arbitrary. The Clean Air Act ALSO permits other states to adopt the California standards. It does NOT permit them to create some other type of vehicle emission standard.

The states have a choice – federal standards, or the California standards. There is no third possibility, much less 50. As the NESCAUM states noted in their letter to the committee, this system has worked very well for decades.

And this matter has been debated extensively before in the Congress – and people like Joe Barton and John Dingell were big players in those debates and know the truth.

Maybe they are just grasping at straws in their attempt to kill off the right of states to protect their citizens. But it’s not very becoming for them to continue repeating this phony argument.

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