It is a shameless political move.
But at a Senate hearing this morning, U.S. EPA Administrator Steve Johnson telegraphed that EPA is planning to deny California's request to enforce its greenhouse gas standards for motor vehicles.
Johnson linked the issue to an earlier promise by President Bush that EPA would develop its own plan to set new vehicle and fuel standards by the end of 2008.
Johnson signaled that EPA will deny the California request, using the pretext that there will be national standards.
Any such standards under consideration would be far weaker than the California standards, which have already been adopted by a number of other states. None would be able to enforce those standards unless California wins approval -- either by EPA, or through the courts.