As noted rather enthusiastically by the Daily Grist, Charlie Crist, the Republican governor of Florida, has decided to move forward with a series of executive orders that effectively adopt California's car-pollutions standards and enact targets for reducing greenhouse gases.
This sort of continuous movement by the states can only have been encouraged by the Supreme Court's recent ruling in Massachusetts v. EPA, as our own Tim Dowling and Jennifer Bradley predicted in the Planning and Environmental Law piece previewed here yesterday. Analyzing the implications of the case, they noted that one impact will be helping future state litigants withstand challenges. This re-assurance undoubtedly emboldens state leaders who assert the real impact of global warming on not just their coastline, but broader resulting injuries such as the impact on Florida's tourism economy that Crist noted in several interviews.
Indeed, initial coverage in the Miami Herald effectively contrasts Crist's stance with the reluctance of his predecessor, whose efforts were much more delayed and quiet:
Former Gov. Jeb Bush rejected appeals from environmentalists to support similar pollution control standards, although he quietly drafted a carbon-reductions policy in the final months of his term.
Washington Post business writer Steve Mufson's analysis is also a must-read, tying action at the state level to recent developments in Congress, where Senators Bingaman and Specter have just re-introduced their compromise cap-and-trade proposal. While most environmental experts still deem the bill insufficient and harmful in several areas, it's still worth noting that it includes tougher standards than their previous effort, yet has managed to pick up additional support.
Also, if you want to go straight to the source, the St. Petersburg Times obtained draft copies of the three executive orders.