Good News for California and Climate Change

This is good news.

With a new occupant in the White House, California could soon start enforcing its landmark 2002 law requiring a sharp reduction in vehicle emissions.

State leaders and environmentalists are pressing for quick approval of a waiver that would let California and at least 13 other states impose tougher air-quality standards than allowed under federal law. The Bush administration rejected the request a year ago, but that could be reversed by President Barack Obama and his environmental team.

During the presidential campaign, Obama said he backed the California law. Last year, he co-sponsored a bill by Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer of California to approve the waiver.

“If I’m confirmed, I will immediately revisit the waiver,” Lisa Jackson, Obama’s choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency, told Boxer at her confirmation hearing last week.

Elections have consequences. Of course, I’d rather see new federal fuel efficiency standards than these state-level workarounds. Hopefully we’ll see movement on that front soon, especially with Waxman chairing the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hey, Salamander,

    Did not see where I can leave a general comment, so I’m leaving it here. You can move/delete it as you wish.

    Something for you to chew on. On “fixing” the economy. What do you think about a possible conflict between “The New Era of Responsibility”, including fiscal responsibility on the part of average Americans and a heavy dependency of our economy on consumer spending? Your thoughts…

    • I’m not sure that I have all that many thoughts. I frankly interpreted the President’s comments on an “era of responsibility” to refer to our leaders exercising their responsibility to address the problems facing America rather than to the populace exercising financial responsibility. That said, I think the solution to the reliance of our economy on consumer spending is to aggressively support the middle class. If the incomes of middle America keep pace with economic growth, as they haven’t over the past eight years, then it should be possible to expand consumer spending without an over-reliance on debt. I think that a lot of the debt-spending of the last eight years was the attempt of Americans to maintain their standard of living in the face of stagnant or falling income. This is the inevitable outcome of a society with a massively unequal distribution of wealth.


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