EPA Chief Ignored Staff When Shooting Down CA Tailpipe Regs. Allegedly.
Newspapers on both coasts are reporting that Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) chief Stephen L. Johnson ignored his own staff's unanimous recommendations when he refused to allow California to set its own CO2 tailpipe emissions standards. The EPA ruling means that California– and all the states that adopted The Golden State's air quality standards– will not be able to trump the new fuel economy mandates [almost] specified in the Energy Bill. "The decision set in motion a legal battle that EPA's lawyers expect to lose and demonstrated the Bush administration's determination to oppose any mandatory measures specifically targeted at curbing global warming pollution," the Washington Post proclaimed, sweeping aside the 1000-page Energy Bill's CO2-diminishing provisions. The LA Times was quick to jump on the "we wuz robbed" bandwagon. "The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ignored his staff's written findings in denying California's request for a waiver to implement its landmark law to slash greenhouse gases from vehicles, sources inside and outside the agency told The Times on Thursday." Just in case the EPA's opponents need more goading, the Times also reported that "In a PowerPoint presentation prepared for the administrator, aides wrote that if Johnson denied the waiver and California sued, 'EPA likely to lose suit.'" While Johnson's reasoning is sound– better a national standard than a patchwork of state regulations– the environmentalists are screaming blue murder. This one will run and run.,
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