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Did EPA Cave In To US Automakers In Emissions Ruling?

By James Donahue

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week blocked 17 states from setting their own standards for carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles, saying that strict rules set by states like California are pre-empted by federal authority.

The ruling thus stops efforts by states like California, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to take steps to bypass a do-nothing federal government and help cut greenhouse gas emissions.

State lawmakers and environmentalists are crying foul, vowing to take the issue into court to overturn the edict. They believe the EPA caved in to pressure from the automobile industry to help it escape the tougher regulations.

EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson said the proposed California rules were not only pre-empted by federal authority, but made moot by the energy bill signed into law Dec. 19 by President George W. Bush.

Said Johnson: “The Bush Administration is moving forward with a clear national solution, not a confusing patchwork of state rules. I believe this is a better approach than if individual states were to act alone.”

We believe that energy bill is taking the nation in a wrong direction toward resolving the global warming crisis. Instead of forcing carmakers to cut emissions, the legislation is designed to drive a domestic ethanol industry that will continue business as usual.

The bill calls for the blending of alternative fuels like ethanol and mandates production of cellulosic ethanol, which can be made from the pulp of the corn plant instead of corn kernels, or from trees, switchgrass or wood waste. The goal is for U.S. ethanol to be at least three percent cellulosic by 2012 and at least 44 percent by 2022.

True, the bill is expected to translate into about a 35 miles per gallon general standard for cars and trucks sold in the U.S. by 2020, but it ignores the problem of carbon emissions.

The production of ethanol demands more fuel used by the growers, by truckers and in the manufacturing process itself. And the finished product does not burn clean. Thus the “ethanol solution” only compounds the crisis and does nothing to attempt to resolve it.

The states that want to force the automobile industry to build better, low emission producing vehicles, are on the right track. That the EPA has put a block on the proposed state rules is a tragic turn for America, which appears to be held hostage by the automobile industry and its puppet leadership still operating in Washington.

If and when voters decide they want a change, throw the bums out of office, and elect earth-friendly leadership, this nation can hopefully join the fight to save humanity from the threat of extinction. Hard decisions are to be made in the electoral process which begins in only a few weeks.

We urge voters to turn away from the media news block and examine all of the candidates, not just those getting shoved in our face.