It’s pretty flabbergasting that just hours after signing the most significant national step toward addressing energy use from autos in 30 years, the Bush administration would turn right around and use it to try and take a step backward on global warming pollution from autos.
Yes, trying to use the new fuel economy standards as a rationalization, EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson rejected the waiver request for California and other states to adopt the clean car standards program.
Ho…Ho…Ho. Talk about a lump of (liquid) coal in your stocking.
Here’s what we had to say about this. A couple of interesting additional notes. First, of course, California will be suing right away. This story in the Washington Post reveals that Johnson’s own lawyers and policy people told him that it was really unlikely that they can win this case in court—yet they did it anyway. Also this is the first time in the history of the Clean Air Act waiver for California air pollution policies, started in 1967, that the EPA has denied a waiver. California has 60 days to appeal this decision, which they will certainly do on top of the lawsuit.
Waves of discontent are already crashing down around the administration for this decision, including a promised congressional investigation of the whole waiver process by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA). But this line from Sen. Diane Feinstein sums it up nicely:
“Candidly I find this disgraceful. The passage of the Energy Bill does not give the EPA a green light to shirk its responsibility to protect the health and safety of the American people from air pollution.”
I rarely suggest people take action that is purely to show outrage, because it is usually not productive. Not so in this case. I’ve set up this alert if you want to join me in demanding that the EPA put public health and sound science before the politics of obstruction.
Posted by: ScottN