Dedicated to the balanced discussion of global warming
Should the governance of pollution be left to the states or should it be governed by the federal government in a single standard? Many times in the past, the EPA has allowed the states (primarily California) to regulate at least portions of their pollution output, primarily in deference to regional challenges in the quality of air for breathing. In the past several years the Bush administration has pushed back on this but now it appear that the Obama administration is going to reverse this trend. He appears to be ready to allow 14 states including California to set their own emissions standards.
I don’t know if this is a good thing or bad. I can see both sides of the argument. If the concern was about emissions that affect the quality of the air in a region then I can see the value. However, these proposed standards seem to be about carbon dioxide emission and it is difficult for me to see the value of 14 states doing something in lieu of all 50. Also these changes affect the infrastructure and the health of all 50 states since it will affect the automobile producing states and the health of their corporate infrastructure.
Of course, all of this is a result of the Supreme Court ruling that carbon dioxide is a pollutant. If it is a pollutant than it can (should?) be regulated. If the Supreme Court did not create that standard then I doubt that this would be an issue of global warming but rather just cleaner air.
I hesitate to say that this is a wise move.
Take a moment to read a few highlights from the NY Times on the subject. Please click through and read the entire article. You can also read some other opinions on this subject here and here and here.
Tags: automobiles, Barack Hussein Obama, California, carbon dioxide, emissions, EPA, health, Politics, pollutant, pollution, Supreme Court
President Obama will direct federal regulators on Monday to move swiftly on an application by California and 13 other states to set strict automobile emission and fuel efficiency standards, two administration officials said Sunday.
Mr. Obama’s presidential memorandum will order the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider the Bush administration’s past rejection of the California application. While it stops short of flatly ordering the Bush decision reversed, the agency’s regulators are now widely expected to do so after completing a formal review process.
But the centerpiece of Monday’s anticipated announcement is Mr. Obama’s directive to the Environmental Protection Agency to begin work immediately on granting California a waiver, under the Clean Air Act, which allows the state, a longtime leader in air quality matters, to set standards for automobile emissions stricter than the national rules.California has already won numerous waivers for controls on emissions that cause smog, as opposed to global warming.
The California law, which was originally meant to take effect in the 2009 model year, requires automakers to cut emissions by nearly a third by 2016, four years ahead of the federal timetable. The result would be an increase in fuel efficiency in the American car and light truck fleet to roughly 35 miles per gallon from the current average of 27.