Mich., Ca. Differ On Emissions Regs: What Should Obama Do?

January 23, 2009

Tree-huggers on the left coast, championed by Conan-No-Longer-The-Barbarian Schwarzenegger, want to impose strict new standards that would dictate a 30 percent reduction in vehicle emissions by 2013. At least 13 other states feel similarly, and they've banded together to ask the Obama Administration to allow them to navigate around current EPA guidelines preventing them from taking action. On Wednesday, Schwarzenneger and CARB (California Air Resources Board) even wrote Obama an official request.

Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox is incensed, arguing that allowing states to set their own emissions standards would "be devastating to the auto industry." He claims that, as written, the Clean Air Act and the Energy Policy and Conservation Act prevent California and other states from taking independent action where emissions regulation is concerned.

So, WSOD (What Should Obama Do)?

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

Enlarge Photo

We already reported that the Obama Administration and then-EPA-nominee Lisa Jackson seemed to be leaning towards granting some type of waiver for California and other states. And during his campaign, Obama put in writing that he'd allow California to impose its own regulations. Just last night the 46-year-old Jackson, a Princeton-educated chemical engineer, was officially confirmed to head the U.S. EPA (making her the first African-American to do so).

Claimed benefits of allowing states to set their own emissions standards include a reduction of airborne health risks in congested areas and a reduction in global warming. But there are plenty who fiercely contest Al Gore's raison d'etre, and others say that California's recently-passed diesel emissions regs are beating up an already bloodied trucking industry.

Suddenly my job seems really, really easy.

[source: Detroit News]

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