By on April 2, 2008

bay-bridge-traffic-184.jpgWards reports that the EPA has announced it will delay drawing up regulations for vehicular greenhouse gas emissions for nearly a year while it seeks public comment. With states like California threatening to create a state-by-state patchwork of emissions standards which would wreak havoc on the auto industry, you'd think the EPA would want to develop a national standard for emissions sooner rather than later. Indeed, the EPA is fighting California's efforts in court, arguing that it alone has the right to regulate emissions. So why doesn't  it just regulate already? Democrats claim that it is delaying any regulation until after George W Bush leaves office. Isn't the point of being a lame duck President that you can push through the tough decisions without fear of political backlash? In this case, the big "L" word (legacy) is still very much up in the air, and emission regulations aren't standard fare for a Republican president's victory laps. Meanwhile, the environmentally oversensitive wonder: if we delay regulation by a year, will it already be too late for the planet?

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10 Comments on “EPA Invites Comment, Delays Regulation...”

  • avatar

    The Democratic line of reasoning is absurd. The current administration’s guidelines would very likely be less stringient than what the next administration would put into place, especially if the next administration is a Democratic administration.

    The question is, do they want lax standards that force California to push ahead with their own patchwork anyway, or do they wait a year for something effective that will leave them satisfied.

    Of course, the idea that the EPA should even bow to CARB is an exercise in absurdity itself.

  • avatar

    What are they waiting for? Do they not think it is worth destroying our economy to reduce the emmissions of a harmless, odourless gas?

  • avatar


    Odorless and non-toxic, but it traps heat, and with enough of it, you get a phenomenon known as “global warming.” Hence, the reason for regulation. It’s pretty simple, really.

    You can read all about it here:

    What evidence do you have that regulating greenhouse gases will “destroy our economy?” There’s plenty of evidence that NOT regulating greenhouse gases will do a number on the USA’s bottom line.

  • avatar

    With states like California threatening to create a state-by-state patchwork of emissions standards which would wreak havoc on the auto industry…

    This is wrong. It’s repeated ad nauseum, but it’s still wrong.

    There are exactly two entities allowed to regulate air quality in the USA: the EPA, and the state of California.

    No other state can create its own regulations regarding air quality. They have one decision to make: follow exactly the EPA standards, or follow exactly the CA standards.

    Therefore there is no possibility of a “patchwork” of state regulations. There will be two. The auto industry keeps playing this “patchwork” card since they want to put off regulation for as long as possible. It’s a tried and true method across any number of businesses: a delay is almost as good as a victory.

    Can TTAC please not post misleading statements such as this? They really do nothing to foster intelligent, informed discussion.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    I gotta an idea! Let’s have a lawsuit. that will be fast. It will be over before Jenna Bush’s baby is president.

  • avatar


    1/ Water vapor is the number one greenhouse gas.
    2/ The Earth is in a cooling trend right now.
    3/ China, India and the rest of the developing world is exponentially increasing GHG emmissions so it doesn’t really matter what we do. China is now the worlds number one emmitter.
    4/ Greenhouse CO2 is a scam and has made Algore rich

  • avatar

    x2 on what Drew said. Not only are there only two possible standards for states to follow, but a number of states–at least 11, maybe as many as 13, I’m not exactly sure at this moment–have already indicated their intention to implement California’s version of the GHG rules if/when they become law. Thus, we’re not even just talking about California vs. everybody else, where special cars would have to be manufactured just for the Golden State; California will have plenty of company.

  • avatar

    You have to understand, regulating vehicle emissions is a life or death issue that must be dealt with at the absolute most politically adventageous moment.

  • avatar
    Edward Niedermeyer

    Ok guys, the turn of phrase is a little misleading (although technically you only need two colors for a patchwork). My main point was that if the EPA is so concerned about letting California create its own standards, why the hell aren’t they trying to set a uniform, 50-state standard ASAP?

    I’ll be honest, I’m not overly familiar with the jurisprudence surrounding this issue. I was under the impression that this is an issue of federalism, and that the USFG can’t block states from setting their own standards. Only California is actually setting standards (which others are adopting), but I doubt that the courts will rule that only California has the right to set these standards. Obviously I have more reading to do.

  • avatar

    I thought that the point of the EPA getting up Callie’s nose about their CO2 regs was that they were saying that because the two are so intertwined, it’s just a roundabout way of a state legislating fuel economy, which the EPA does have rules for.

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