In a letter sent to congress last week, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson said his agency will issue proposed rules “later this spring” on “the specific effects of climate change and potential regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from stationary and mobile sources”.
The letter is in response to the 2007 Supreme Court ruling requiring the EPA to reconsider its refusal in 2003 to regulate CO2 emissions from cars and trucks.
Johnson said his agency can’t consider emissions from vehicles without taking into account emissions from oil refineries, power plants, and other stationary sources of carbon emissions.
The letter sets in motion a long process of seeking comments from industry and the public making available at least two opportunities for the EPA to change course before final rules are issued.
Even if the EPA does release proposed rules this spring, it is almost certain that no final decisions will be set in place before George Bush leaves office in January, leaving Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer to accuse the Administration of “more foot-dragging”.
George Bush has opposed any mandatory caps on carbon emission in favor of voluntary measures, citing China and India’s lack of a carbon emission mandate as justification for his position.
National Resource Defense Council climate expert David Hawkins said the administration is simply “running out the clock”, adding that “all this stuff will come in in a big pile on the next administration’s desk”.
I shudder to think the huge pile that will be left on the desk in the oval office for the next president. I only hope he or she is able to dig through the mess and move forward with an effective and aggressive national policy on carbon emissions.