The Detroit News is reporting that as early as next Tuesday, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will consider Senator Barbara Boxer's bill, S.2555, that would reverse the EPA's thwarting of California's GHG emissions standards.
The looming spectre of congressional action has been a key motivator behind the auto industry's desperate lobbying of late, seeking to stop additional states from adopting the California rules. Nonetheless, Boxer's bill has been fairly dormat since it was introduced in January. So why act now?
The answer might lie in the realm of legislative support. Boxer's bill now has 27 cosponsors, and last week it earned itsfirst endorsement by a Republican member of the EPW Committee, Senator John Warner of Virginia. With his support secured, Boxer would be able to pass the bill out of committee even if she loses one member of her own party-- commitee members Max Baucus (D-MT) and Thomas Carper (D-DE) have yet to take a position on the bill.
More importantly, Warner's support could be a big help on the Senate floor, and provides strong symbolism as a major ally of Senator McCain's who has decided to actively side with California (McCain has expressed support for California, but has yet to endorse the Boxer bill).