As expected California has filed suit to challenge the EPA’s strange (well, strange if you think the EPA still works for the environment) decision to deny the state’s effort to impose greenhouse limits that are stricter than the national standard. The whole story is a real chin-scratcher because a federal judge recently ruled that California can do exactly that. Unless the EPA has some magical new legal theory this case ought to shut practically before it opens.
Who knows, it could be that the Bushies hope to try out one of their shiny new judges, or the new SCOTUS majority. Any other explanation doesn’t make a lot of sense.
They do a lot of stuff that doesn’t make any sense.
Bushies shorter: California Sucks! Why don’t you just go ahead and secede from the Union already! You know you want to…
Rulings by Activist Federal Judges don’t count, moonbat.
They honestly should just shorten their name to The Agency.
Johnson (head of the EPA) argues that federal regulations offer “a far more effective approach to reducing greenhouse gases than a patchwork of state regulations.” So it’s entirely consistent with the Bush administration’s approach to other issues, such as teen abortion and gay marriage. Imagine the complexity of a hypothetical patchwork of state regulations in those areas! Oh, wait. . .
Full disclosure: I am a gov’t contractor, working directly under EPA. I cannot tell you the level of frustration amongst the lower and middle eschelon employees there that I deal with on a daily basis, concerning decisions like this made by Bush appointees. Of course, it helps that I mostly deal with environmental scientists and engineers, who have a pretty low threshold for bureaucractic BS.
Breschau, you have our endless pity and boundless appreciation for not telling the entire system to go fuck itself and moving to Holland. No snark when I say this. Thank you for being there.
The magical theory is this:
We (Team Bush) have determined that to allow such a provision will substantially harm the national security of our country, as it allows terrorists to drive cars that make less noise, making it harder to hear them coming, which makes everyone in America only a shoulder check and blinker away from SURE DEATH.
The data to support this, however, is state’s secret, so we won’t show you or even tell you who dreamed up said data.
I don’t know this area of the law very well, and from what I gather California is on equal footing with the EPA in setting greenhouse gas legislation because they were already dealing with air pollution when the EPA was created. Thanks, article Tim linked to!
When I learned constitutional law, I was taught that in general with respect to health and safety type legislation, the states were generally free to enact standards that were more stringent than federal ones, that the federal standards are usually treated as a minimum. Makes sense to me. In the case of the Clean Air Act, evidently states can only choose between federal and California standards. Not much of a “patchwork” when there’s only two colors, and it’s pretty hard to see how a more stringent standard makes reducing greenhouse gases LESS effective. I don’t really see how they’re not going to get laughed out of court and I’m upset that they’re spending our tax money defending this lawsuit that California should not have had to bring.
The automakers don’t want to have to pay off people at the federal level and in the states too!
They can only afford to allocate a small percentage of their profits to pay bribes.
That’s when you know an industry is in trouble.
The Grand Panjandrum
I always thought the Republicans were for more authority back in the hands of the States, but the last seven years have turned that model on its head. Another explanation, in my opinion, is that they are paying back their corporate masters.
A similar case, in the food industry, was the brouhaha over food safety. One small provider of beef (organic and grass-fed) wanted to exceed the standard testing for BSE, by voluntarily testing EVERY cow in order to export to Japan. (Make sure you read the entire article. A well-known criminal’s name shows up toward the end of the page.) They were required to get a waiver! So what happens? The regulators would NOT grant the smaller company this required waiver.
Here is a collection of articles on this particular case.
Republicans are. We’ve been dealing with Conservatives this whole time.
The Other Steve
Look, the only reason the EPA made this decision is because they care about state’s rights.
It was dreadfully unfair for California to try to impose these regulations, as they infringe upon the rights of other states. If this had been allowed to go into effect, companies inside California would have had a competitive advantage over countries of other states, and that just must not be.
In a way this is very similar to the USDA forbidding the meat packing plants from testing every cow for mad-cow disease. It would have forced the rest of the market to respond in kind, and that would have resulted in safer beef.
So you see, they had to make this decision, in order to take politics out of the equation.
The Other Steve
Wait, I thought the problem with Republicans was that they were too liberal?
The Onion’s gotta be working very hard these days to stay ahead of reality in Bushworld.
Another full disclosure: I’ve worked with RCRA (The hazardous waste law) for more than a decade, and a few other related regulaotry agencies, in various capacities–both from the contractor and government side. I do this in a state which has its own version of the EPA and its own OSHA, as somebody who has to assure compliance I would LOVE to just be able to read the Federal rules and go with that, but here in MN we’ve got a few other little things to pay attention to.
But the Bushies are taking the mild desire to have the end facility in Texas understand my needs in Minnesota, and just using that as some ad hoc strategy in their regulatory dodgeball; they will dive, duck or dodge in whichever direction they think gives them the best chance to continue “doing whatever the fuck they want.”
Do you guys remember when the GOP’s justification for the bankruptcy bill was that it “would imrpove low income Americans’ access to credit?” They knew that argument was bullshit, just like they know this argument is bullshit, but hey if that’s all they got, fuck it, that’s all they got, that’s what they’ll go with. Whatever it takes to continue to “do whatever the fuck they want.”
hmmmmm, that’s an odd trranspostion in “regulatory” but, it looks to be my “typo of the day.”
Speaking of the Governator, I haven’t heard anything about removing the US birth/citizenship requirement for presidents in quite some time.
Environmental Perversion Agency, just doin their jobs.
I love how everyone’s blaming “the” EPA, when it’s clear it’s just the Bush appointed people in charge, going against what the actual lawyers, scientists and other staff inside the EPA are recommending.
How I wish for a better media in reporting this issue. I’m glad CA and WA are suing, but somewhere after the lede and before the final period could they report that the internal recommendations from EPA staff were that the EPA had no legal justification to deny the requested waiver. But of course, Bush-appointed cronies said, “STFU Dude, I’m playing Guitar Hero III, now tell those west-coast elites to FOAD.”
There really aren’t two competing political parties warraing over how government should work anymore. The Democrats have some proposals about how government should function that you can agree/disagree with. The Republicans want government to stop functioning.
Bipartisanship and compromise are meaningless when it comes to dealing with people who operate in such bad faith.
1. The Treasury Department, or at least the part of it that prints cash.
2. The GSA, provided some toady like Lurita Doan is in charge and handing out contracts to the Right people.
This is just another example of the Republican war on the same States’ Rights they were whining about during the Clinton years… Hypocrites!
When you have to sue to sustain your business model, you know the industry is about to fail. The detroit automakers and the RIAA are two great examples…
We are going to be seeing SO many of these Bush End Tymes(tm) actions for the next twelve months it’s literally going to be impossible to keep track of them. Corporate handouts and tax deals, resource giveaways and disabling/dismantling federal agencies and programs are the name of the game, not to mention entrenching us more or less permanently in Iraq.
Point this out, and the response will be “Mark Rich!”
Hey lookie, here’s one now:
Considering California has the fifth largest economy in the world it would be amusing if we did secede. We produce our own food so no need to import. We have entrepreneurial spirit and even have a company in san diego set to begin production of an Electric car in both electric and hybrid models that can do upwards of 90 (in other words keep up with freeway traffic) and in general does pretty well.
If we started producing more of our own power we wouldn’t even need to get that from other states. In short the republica of California would be possible.
But won’t it take YEARS to get the case to the Supreme Court? By then, the Bushies will be gone and the next administration could well drop the appeals, allowing CA to do their thing.
As with all things Bush, it’s a delaying tactic. They can’t win, but they want to prolong the nightmare so they and their business cronies can squeeze more money out of it.
I think we all need to learn that “State’s Rights” means “I GET TO LYNCH THE DARKIES” ™ and nothing else. It doesn’t actually mean “state’s have rights the federal government shouldn’t encroach on”.