Saturday, June 9, 2007

Should states control the tailpipe?

The federal government has traditionally set vehicle emissions limits through EPA rules. But 10 states, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York, want to follow California's lead and impose tighter state standards on CO2 and other greenhouse gases emitted from autos and other light-weight trucks.

California can't impose its tougher standards, however, until it receives a "waiver" from the EPA. It's been working for two years to get that green light but some members of Congress--Democrats of all people--are considering legislation to slam on the brakes.

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, a Democrat, didn't miss his opportunity to use the issue to take a swipe at the Bush EPA. In a news release issued Friday, he says:
“When the federal government fails to protect the environment and the health of our citizens, as it has done when it comes to limiting greenhouse gas emissions, then the states must be allowed act.”

New Jersey State Senator Tom Kean Jr., a Republican, agrees with Rendell on the waiver issue but employs a different spin in his own news release

“The legislation being considered by top House Democrats represents a shocking reversal of their position on this issue given the torrent of criticism they have leveled against the Environmental Protection Agency.”

Isn't it great when opposing parties come together on an important issue?

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