Friday, November 9, 2007

“Sue and sue again and again”

“We sue again, and sue again and sue again until we get it”; so says Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Showing a determination that won for the governor numerous trophies for body building, Schwarzenegger displayed his determination to place California at the wrong end the global warming totem pole.

California, said Schwarzenegger, demands urgent action on global warming from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “the environmental and health risks are mounting every day that the Bush administration delays action".

Without presenting any scientific evidence to back up their claims, so-called scientists predict “global warming will reduce snow packs in the mountains while rising sea levels will submerge coastal homes and erode beaches. Warmer temperatures will wither crops that can’t survive in longer, hotter summers. Wildfires will char forests.”

Are you properly scared yet? If not, you are a “global warmer denier” and a place in hell is reserved for you; don’t believe it, just ask Al Gore and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

So what is Schwarzenegger’s answer to avoid these calamities – increase standards for auto emissions. The governor says the federal standards for auto emissions are not stringent enough and California must be allowed to set higher standards. To do this, the governor and attorney general Moonbeam have filed law suits against the EPA in federal courts. If at first you don’t succeed, then, in the words of the governor – “sue and sue again”.

Who can argue with what EPA administrator Stephen Johnson said through his spokeswoman, Jennifer Wood, “it is unfortunate that California is more interested in getting a headline than allowing us to make a good decision”.

For automakers the patchwork of different state standards poses a nightmare of regulations if each state can set their own standards. This is the same problem faced by oil refineries where states set different fuel requirements; in California there are literally dozens of different gasoline formulae refineries must meet over the year, causing higher costs at the pump and reduced supplies at various times.

Should California, and each state, control carbon dioxide levels and create a mandatory fuel-economy standard, or should there be a single standard set by the federal government? Keep tuned as the governor “sues and sues again and again”.

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