The EPA and Bush Administration to California: Go Screw Yourself

What the...?After waiting more than two years to make a decision the Environmental Protection Agency has refused to provide the required waiver allowing enforcement of a California law to regulate greenhouse gas emissions in cars and trucks.

Automakers had taken the states to courts on 4 previous occasions and lost each decision (the latest was just last week), and the Supreme Court ruled last year that the EPA’s mandate does include greenhouse gas regulation.

The only roadblock had been the EPA’s years-long foot-dragging on issuing the waiver allowing California to implement the bill, paving the way for 16 other states and toward a comprehensive standard to regulate tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions.

Instead, the administration has once again put short-term business concerns ahead of the long-term interests of the country, hiding behind the recently enacted energy bill, raising CAFE efficiency to 35MPG by (drumroll please) 2020, as a “better strategy” . The bill, however, does not have any mechanism to regulate CO2 emissions. Thus, the logic from the EPA and George Bush citing the need for a comprehensive national approach instead of a “patchwork” of state regulations falls down on its face, they simply seek to hide their blatant malfeasance behind passage of a weak energy bill.

You’ll pardon my language, but this is chicken-shit and everyone knows it.

Sometimes I think to myself “do these people think we’re stupid?” – and, of course, the answer is George Bush & Co. doesn’t give a damn what I think, or what you think for that matter, even if you’re a poor schmuck that still (somehow) can support his woeful leadership.

Needless to say, the decision from the EPA will not stand without a fight. A big one from what I can tell.

Since the Bush administration has lost almost all credibility and trustworthiness, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) immediately demanded the EPA to preserve and produce all documents relating to the decision stating "Your decision appears to have ignored the evidence before the agency and the requirements of the Clean Air Act", making clear the intention of the committee to investigate whether EPA director Stephen Johnson "overruled the unanimous recommendations of EPA’s legal and technical staffs in rejecting California’s petition."

Republican governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said the EPA was “standing in our way” toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions and plans to sue the agency to have the decision overturned. Other lawsuits from various advocacy groups are promised to follow.

There is an abject lack of leadership from the Bush Administration. In addressing climate change, it is therefore incumbent on the states to move forward in efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

If George Bush truly wished to offer a solution, he would lead, he would offer real alternatives to business as usual, he would not suppress the science coming from his own administration or the viewpoints of the Pentagon, and he would not block the efforts of more visionary men and women in this country and across the globe.

And yet there is no leadership, no trust, and no reason, therefore, to believe a word he says, or have much faith in any decision he or his administration makes. The emperor has no clothes.

We must look elsewhere for leadership and continue to fight the dishonest and obstructionist powers-that-be in Washington.  

January 20th, 2009 will not come soon enough.


Sources and Further Reading
New York Times
Los Angeles Times



Tags: , , , global+warming, climate+change
Thomas Schueneman
Thomas Schueneman
Tom is the founder and managing editor of and the PlanetWatch Group. His work appears in Triple Pundit, Slate, Cleantechnia, Planetsave, Earth911, and several other sustainability-focused publications. Tom is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

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