I felt pure skepticism at the thought that George Bush had turned a green corner by signing the Independence and Security Act of 2007 the day before yesterday. After all, in his lifetime the closest he ever got to green was around the gills.
Sure enough. The man doesn’t have a straight bone in his body.
New York will sue to challenge the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s blocking of efforts by major states to reduce vehicle greenhouse gas emissions.
“This is not the last word on this crucial issue. We will be suing,” said Judith Enck, deputy environmental secretary to Gov. Eliot Spitzer. “We need every tool we can get to combat global warming.”
On Wednesday, the EPA denied a request by California, which has its own vehicle emissions standards, for a waiver under the Clean Air Act to make further cuts starting in 2009. New York and 16 other states were waiting for federal permission to follow California standards.
Not that this is just a coastal thing. Bush is grinning about holding back half the country!
The states that wanted to follow California — Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont and Washington — account for nearly half of the U.S. population and about 45 percent of new automobile sales.
Environmentalists estimated that stricter rules would prevent annual emissions equivalent to 100 million tons of carbon dioxide, a known greenhouse gas that is driving global warming, according to international scientific consensus.
That is equivalent to closing more than 30 coal-fired power plants or removing 20 million cars from the road, according to Environmental Defense, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group.
Well, we can’t be stretching any corporate comfort zones, can we? Besides, we now learn that the oil and car guys are global citizens all along:
A conservative think tank that has long touted what it calls the uncertainty behind and benefits of global warming, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, praised the EPA. The group has been funded by Exxon Mobil and Ford Motor Co.
“California claimed that compelling and extraordinary circumstances entitled it to a waiver, but global warming is hardly extraordinary in California,” said CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman. “It’s called global warming, not California
And so, if the United Nations called for it, the CEI would jump into line. Right? Not so fast. We first must consider the plight of the little guy in his little car.
In a separate news release, the group criticized higher mileage provisions in the new energy law, claiming it would lead to the deaths of “thousands” of people due to smaller cars. No evidence was cited for the figure.