Thursday, December 20, 2007

Stall, Stall, and Stall Again

Did we expect such a nonsensical ruling from the EPA in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision in Massachusetts vs. EPA? Of course we did, and Administrator Stephen Johnson didn't disappoint, calling a stealthy 6:30 pm EST news conference to announce that, after 6 months of stalling, California would be denied a Federal exemption to put in place tough greenhouse gas emission standards for automobiles. Moreover, Johnson's explanation was simply a rehash of the same old tired evasive rhetoric that is the hallmark of Bu$hCo environmental policy:
"California is not exclusive in facing this challenge," Mr. Johnson said, adding that a national standard is "...a better approach than if individual states were to act alone."
But what this historically challenged Bu$hCo shill conveniently forgets is that 1) There is no national standard, 2) There is no precedent in the 40 year history of the Clean Air Act for turning down California's request for exemption, and 3) Individual states have been going it alone since the 1980's, doing for their own air what the Federal government refuses to do.
Far from trying to provide any movement on greenhouse gas regulation, Bu$hCo has managed to stall meaningful change since 2004 when California first passed its tough tailpipe regulations. First, by siding with Big Auto in their own suit to block California (dismissed a week ago, largely as a result of MA vs. EPA) and then by delaying an EPA decision until the last year of the administration, Bu$hCo has guaranteed at least another two years of inaction. And before anyone brings up the recently signed energy bill as a sign that Bu$hCo really cares about clean air standards, keep in mind that those mileage requirements don't come into force until 2020--plenty of time for a future Republican administration to put the kibosh on the 35 MPG standard. In signing that bill, Bush did nothing more than provide a 12 year 'license to pollute' to his paymasters in Big Auto.

And's back to court we go. Governor Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Brown have promised to sue, to dance to the administration's tune of, "Stall, stall, and stall again!" And why? Does anyone really think that another court order is going to allow California to go ahead? Won't the administration just appeal to a Supreme Court already packed with GOP cronies? I mean...just because the the EPA was ordered to consider the exemption is no guarantee that the court will find in favor of California on the grounds of state's rights or some such argument.'s time to defy the Feds. California should go ahead and implement the new standards; Tell Bu$hCo and the EPA to go and f*ck themselves; Tell Big Auto to comply or to stop selling vehicles in our state. I guarantee that, with a population approaching 40 million, no automaker, certainly no US automaker that wants to stay in business, can afford to stop selling cars in California.

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