It's bad enough that the federal government has yet to take the threat of global warming seriously, but it borders on malfeasance for it to block the efforts of states such as California and Connecticut that are trying to protect the public's health and welfare.This president has been the main catalyst for a renewed surge of federalism in this country, with many states filing suit against the federal government due to long-term neglect and stonewalling on important issues -- global warming being just one. Under Bush, the EPA's job has become one of kicking the can down the road as opposed to strongly enforcing existing regulations, much less gutting them.
California, Connecticut and 10 other states are poised to enact tailpipe emissions standards -- tougher than existing federal requirements -- that would cut greenhouse gas emissions from cars, light trucks and sport-utility vehicles by 392 million metric tons by the year 2020, the equivalent to taking 74 million of today's cars off the road for an entire year.
Since transportation accounts for one-third of America's greenhouse gas emissions, enacting these standards would be a huge step forward in our efforts to clean the environment and would show the rest of the world that our nation is serious about fighting global warming.
Yet for the past 16 months, the Environmental Protection Agency has refused to give us permission to do so.
Even after the Supreme Court ruled in our favor last month, the federal government continues to stand in our way.
Another discouraging sign came just last week, when President Bush issued an executive order to give federal agencies until the end of 2008 to continue studying the threat of greenhouse gas emissions and determine what can be done about them.
To us, that again sounds like more of the same inaction and denial, and it is unconscionable.
One thing seems perfectly clear: the next person to move into the White House will undoubtedly be far more green than this current denier.