Monday, January 7, 2008

Fabulous News...

(Photo by Ruth Lozano via Flickr)

Because I am a Californian this story is of particular interest to me...although I feel it should be on everyone's radar.
CNN reports that California (Schwarzenegger) intends to sue our Federal Government over it's recent decision against permitting California to require lower emissions at a more aggressive rate than that required by the Bush Admin.'s recently adopted plan.

Under the Clean Air Act, the state needed a federal waiver to implement the more aggressive rules.

The article states that -
"Schwarzenegger wants to cut emissions by nearly 30 percent by 2016, raising fuel efficiency standards in the state to 43.7 miles per gallon for passenger cars and some SUVs and trucks, while larger vehicles would need to reach 26.9 mpg by that year.

The Federal Government, on the other hand, aims to increase fuel efficiency standards by 40 percent by 2020, requiring automakers to bring their fleets to an average of 35 miles per gallon."

According to this earlier article:

"It is disappointing that the federal government is standing in our way and ignoring the will of tens of millions of people across the nation," said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. "California sued to compel the agency to act on our waiver, and now we will sue to overturn today's decision and allow Californians to protect our environment."

'Twelve other states -- Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington -- have adopted the California emissions standards, and the governors of Arizona, Colorado, Florida and Utah have said they also plan to adopt them. The rules were also under consideration in Iowa.'

Does anyone else think the Bush admin. and the EPA are acting absurdly here? Why not have their guidelines be the Minimum requirement...but allow States to pursue more environmentally friendly practices individually? Why prevent nearly a third of the states from cutting emissions more dramatically and at a faster rate?

I fear most or all of the answers to my questions would have something to do with the government's relationship with big business...specifically the US auto industry.

Edited to Add:
An interesting tidbit on this over at the GristMill

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