Saturday, April 28, 2007

A Glacial Pace On Warming- The Pressure is Building

This is an editorial from the NY Times. Various factions are stepping up the pressure on the Bush Administration and the EPA to take action on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. I say test the concept in California first. If people don't mind paying ever more for fuel and electricity, then go for it. My guess is people will not be happy. They will be paying more and not seeing any positive effects.
This is going to be an interesting battle of wills and it will not end any time soon. Let your voices be heard.

A Glacial Pace on Warming
('The walls continue to close in on the Bush administration, with the scientists’ warnings, the Supreme Court decision, the escalating pressure from the states and the general public.');

Published: April 28, 2007
Weeks after the Supreme Court’s momentous ruling that the federal government could and probably should regulate greenhouse gases, pressure for decisive action continues to build.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California has warned that he will sue the Environmental Protection Agency unless it gives him the power to regulate automobile emissions.

A New York Times/CBS News Poll shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans now want immediate steps to deal with global warming. And a leaked draft of the next report from the world’s leading scientists says that the window for action is shrinking — that what governments do over the next 20 to 30 years will determine whether the world can avoid the worst consequences of climate change.

Even so, Washington continues to move as slowly as a melting glacier. This week, Stephen Johnson, the E.P.A. administrator, told a Senate committee that he was still mulling the ramifications of the court’s decision, and he would not say when or even whether he would regulate carbon dioxide. He promised to solicit public comments on Mr. Schwarzenegger’s request but, again, would not say when or whether he would grant that request. Under the law, California can set its own emissions standards — which other states can then adopt — but it needs a federal waiver before putting them into effect.

“I don’t hear in your voice a sense of urgency,” Senator Barbara Boxer, the committee chairwoman, told Mr. Johnson. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat, was less charitable. “You astonish me,” he said, a criticism clearly intended for the entire administration.
Nobody is asking Mr. Johnson to design a comprehensive national program for regulating greenhouse gases, an enormous undertaking that is plainly Congress’s responsibility. Ms. Boxer and others are simply asking the administrator to exercise the authority the court gave him.
That would mean promptly approving California’s proposal to reduce greenhouse gases from vehicles by 30 percent by the 2016 model year. That proposal is the centerpiece of a broader state effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from all sources by 25 percent by 2020.

California requested a waiver in 2005, but the E.P.A. — hiding behind the now-demolished claim that it lacked the authority to regulate greenhouse gases — has been sitting on it. Eleven other states have adopted the standards and will put them into effect as soon as California gets the green light.

Mr. Johnson’s stalling is a symptom of a larger problem, the administration’s reluctance to take seriously the science of global warming, which in turn explains its reluctance to take meaningful action. Yet the walls continue to close in, with the scientists’ warnings, the Supreme Court decision, the escalating pressure from the states and the general public. If President Bush will not lead, Congress must.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Judging by the speed of past decisions by the EPA, I don't believe California will get its waiver anytime soon. But once the waiver has been granted, it will pave the way for at least 11 other states to implement the same standards.