The "Environmentalist" President is taking the lead in the fight against greenhouse gas emissions:
President Bush announced on Monday that he had directed his administration to begin the long process of establishing higher fuel efficiency standards for new cars. Mr. Bush began the process with an executive order directing the E.P.A., the Department of Transportation, the Department of Energy and the Department of Agriculture to explore regulatory options to enact a proposal he announced in his State of the Union address earlier, which set a goal of reducing the projected growth of oil consumption within 10 years to a level 20 percent lower than current forecasts.
Of course, the timing for this transparent public relations stunt couldn't be more predictable:
Mr. Bush's announcement came during a period of new headlines about resurgent gasoline prices, as well as international and domestic political pressure to control American emissions of heat-trapping gases from burning petroleum and other fossil fuels. It comes six weeks after the Supreme Court, rebuffing the administration's arguments, ruled in favor of states that were seeking new federal controls on these emissions from automobiles.
Bush continues to obstruct the efforts of California's Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to improve air quality for the people of his state:
Under federal law, only California is allowed to pass its own air pollution laws, but it must obtain a waiver from the Environmental Protection Agency. After California receives permission, other states can follow. The state submitted a waiver request for its landmark vehicle emissions law in December. Eleven other states have adopted similar laws.
But officials in Schwarzenegger's administration aren't buying Bush administration propaganda:
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's top environmental advisers dismissed President Bush's new greenhouse gas directive yesterday as nothing more than a "stalling tactic" that could prevent California from forcing automakers to introduce cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles sooner.
"We are concerned that this is a recipe for delay of our waiver and denial of our waiver," said Linda Adams, secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency. "We are concerned that this is a stalling tactic.
Robert Sawyer, chairman of the state Air Resources Board, appeared even more skeptical. "It's awfully late and I'm not confident it's real," Sawyer said.
Bush continues to sit on this waiver request and Schwarzenegger has threatened to sue the federal government if it doesn't act. It's nice to see that there is at least one Republican who will stand up against Bush's efforts to thwart the will of the people of California with regard to vehicle emissions.
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