In our haste to share our outrage about the provision of the draft energy bill that would deny California the ability to get a waiver for its greenhouse gas emissions law (see previous post) we didn't read this story, in the San Francisco Chronicle, detailing another extremely troubling provision in the bill.
The legislation also appears to limit the power of the agency to set federal climate change rules -- even though the Supreme Court in April ruled that greenhouse gases are air pollutants and the Environmental Protection Agency must regulate vehicle emissions or explain why it won't.
The draft bill says the power of the EPA is limited to requiring reporting of greenhouse gas emissions, while the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which sets fuel economy standards, must regulate vehicle emissions.
Sierra Club attorney David Bookbinder, in a legal analysis prepared for environmental groups, said the bill amounted to an overturning of part of the Supreme Court's decision.
Bill Becker, executive director of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, said, "It's a double whammy. It not only preempts California and the rest of the states from moving forward (with new climate rules), it prevents the EPA from moving forward as well."
The full article is well worth reading, and includes links to the draft legislation, and a concise explanation of the political tug-of-war embodied in the draft.