California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) had harsh words
for the federal government and President Bush on Thursday over their failure to
take global warming seriously enough. Gov. Schwarzenegger announced that
the state of California is pursuing major legal
action against the federal government.
The issue heated up when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rejected a
proposal by California, Wednesday. The Californian proposal requested to
be allowed a waiver so it could cut its own emissions at a faster rate than the
new Federal guidelines, signed
into law on Wednesday. California would need such a waiver to
override the national plan and pursue its own more aggressive cuts. EPA
chief Stephen Johnson announced the decision Wednesday, which drew a firestorm
of criticism from California's government.
President Bush on Thursday defended the move, arguing, "Is it more
effective to let each state make a decision as to how to proceed in curbing
greenhouse gases? Or is it more effective to have a national strategy?"
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger escalated the war of words with the Bush
administration, on Thursday holding a press conference, and saying of the
decision, "It's another example of the administration's failure to treat
global warming with the seriousness that it actually demands. Anything
less than aggressive action on the greatest environmental threat of all time is
The National plan signed into law calls for fuel efficiency to be raised 40
percent by 2020, up to 35 miles per gallon average. California's plan
calls for 30 percent emissions cuts by 2016 and an average fuel efficiency
increase to a whopping 43.7 miles per gallon for passenger
cars and some SUVs and trucks, and 26.9 MPG for large vehicles.
California's plan was gaining popularity nationwide, with 16 states adopting it
or pledging to.
Gov. Schwarzenegger expressed his frustration at lack of discipline in its
environmental policies. He vowed to whip the government into shape with
The lawsuit was launched Thursday with a 16-page complaint from the Californian
Attorney General Jerry Brown's office. Brown's representative announced
that Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New
Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and
Washington planned to join California in the suit against the feds.
Colorado, Florida and Utah wish to adopt California's plan but have not yet
pledged to support the suit.
President Bush and the governor of this nation's highest populous state have
long held an icy relationship due to the President's environmental policies and
refusal to fund embryonic
stem cell research. An aide described this divide, saying "Even
during the re-election campaign for the president, he would come to California
and the governor wouldn't always be there to greet him."
California holds special status under the Clean Air Act, as the only state that
can specially request the EPA to allow it to enact its own regulations.
However, the EPA does not have to approve these requests, as it demonstrated
Wednesday. As the suit heats up in coming months it should be an
interesting bipartisan battle over the issue as it is drudged through the
federal legal system.