Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Stabenow amendment to small biz bill aimed at California vehicle standards

As you may be aware, there were already three suggested amendments to Senate small business legislation aimed at kneecapping – or at least limiting – EPA authority to deal with greenhouse gases. (The amendments by Senators McConnell, Rockefeller and Baucus.)

And now a new contender has appeared. This an amendment by Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) – or should I say D-car industry?

It is a monstrosity posing as something benign. It is sort of a combination of the worst of the Rockefeller and Baucus amendments, with a special deal for the car industry thrown in for good measure.

This amendment would: block EPA stationary ghg rules for two years. It would exempt farm-related emissions. And – notably – it would prevent the EPA from approving any effort by California to set tougher ghg standards for motor vehicles for model years after 2016.

As you probably know, California is in the process of working on better standards post-2016. The auto industry is opposed to that.

So this part of the amendment came right out of the word processors of the auto industry. This amendment is a dagger aimed at California’s heart.

The politics of special interests are alive and well in Washington!

Environmental groups are mobilizing in opposition. Stay tuned. A vote is possible today or tomorrow.

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