This morning, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted to advance S.2555, which would reverse EPA's waiver denial and allow California (along with 13 other states) to set its own tailpipe emissions standards for greenhouse gases. The bill moves to the Senate floor by a bipartisan vote of 10-9, with Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) breaking with fellow Democrats to oppose the bill, only to be cancelled out by the support of Senator John Warner (R-VA).
This is a fairly modest bill that aims to quickly fix a blatantly wrong-headed decision that likely won't hold up in court, and theoretically should garner broad support across partisan lines based on that reality and shared federalist principles. But as even Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) admitted while moving her bill forward, the likelihood of overcoming a potential filibuster by opponents, let alone a threatened presidential veto, is not good so long as powerful voices like automakers and the United Auto Workers remain full-throttle in their opposition.
Still, today's vote does help the measure's proponents frame the debate for the next president, whom they are optimistic will reverse course and allow California to move forward.