Posted by Tim Dowling
Here's a question for our readers: Why doesn't Congress, TODAY, pass a one-sentence law directing EPA to grant California a waiver under section 209 of the Clean Air Act for California's regulatory program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles? It even could add a second sentence providing that no other provision of law should be construed, either standing alone or in combination with any other law, as preempting the program.
There is a bill, S. 1785, that would impose a deadline on EPA's waiver decision. But EPA could comply with that bill with a denial of the waiver request, which would then lead to many months of additional litigation. Why not lift the specter of additional litgation altogether, immediately?
If there is some serious risk of a filibuster or veto -- and given the broad bipartisan support for the California program among the states, it isn't clear to me how serious this risk really is -- isn't it time to get our federal elected officials on record as to whether our state governors and state legislators will be allow to promote public health and welfare within their states by adopting the California program?
One response might be that congressional "override" of EPA's discretion under section 209 might set a bad precedent. But isn't global warming the kind of unprecedented, catastrophic threat that justifies a one-time override?
Please share any thoughts you might have on this in the comment section.
Thanks. Tim Dowling