Feeds

Governator outs Dubya's global-warming 'time bomb'

'I preempt your preemption'

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

The Governator thinks W is useless when it comes to regulating stuff spewed into the atmosphere by American cars and trucks.

Yesterday, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and 11 other US state head honchos fired a letter at President George W. Bush, complaining that his Department of Transportation is trying to undermine their efforts to control greenhouse gas emissions.

Earlier this week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposed new fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks, calling for a 25 per cent improvement over the next five years. "This proposal is historically ambitious, yet achievable,” Transportation Secretary Mary Peters said in a canned statement. "It will help us all breathe a little easier by reducing tailpipe emissions, cutting fuel consumption and making driving a little more affordable."

But on page 375 of this 417-page proposal, there's a short paragraph that says the NHTSA's fuel efficiency standards would "preempt" efforts by the states to regulate tailpipe emissions. You see, only the federal government can regulate fuel economy, and the Department of Transportation is arguing that regulating fuel economy is "related to" regulating tailpipe emissions.

Speaking during a news conference at the California state capitol yesterday, the chair of the California Air Resources Board called that short paragraph "a buried time bomb ticking away, and aimed directly at the heart of the nation's efforts to control our contributions to global warming." And this view is shared by Schwartzenegger and his fellow governors.

"We are disappointed that your administration has chosen not to support our efforts to make real progress in controlling greenhouse gas emissions," their letter to Bush reads. "States must take this action because the federal government has not adequately responded to this urgent threat." Compared to W's proposal, says the Air Resources Board, California's tailpipe plan would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an extra 69 per cent over the next 12 years.

The administration's effort to preempt state regulations is nothing new, and previous efforts have been rejected by two federal courts. Meanwhile, under the US Clean Air Act, California and the other states have the right to regulate their own tailpipe emissions - as long as they get a waiver from the Environmental Protection Agency. But the EPA won't give them waiver, and the states recently sued to agency to get one.

They're prepared to sue the NHTSA as well. "The NHTSA shouldn't even be regulating greenhouse gases," a spokeswoman for the Governator told us. "The EPA should, and we're already fighting them for a waiver."

A spokesperson for the NHTSA declined to comment on the matter. "All we've done is issue a proposal, and we're now taking comments," he said. "So we have nothing to say at this time." ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.