After seven years of foot dragging
by the Environmental Protection Agency, has the administration finally seen the light? From the AP
President Bush is giving a Rose Garden speech on Wednesday on climate change to lay out the way he thinks the U.S. can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
White House press secretary Dana Perino says that Bush will not outline a specific proposal, but instead will spell out a strategy for long-term goals for curbing emissions....
In his remarks, he also will talk about legislative proposals on Capitol Hill that the administration has expressed opposition to, as well as regulatory issues.
So, in brief, no. The Washington Times reported
on Monday that Bush would begin pushing on global warming because Bush administration officials "fear a coming regulatory nightmare."
In other words, the stonewalling and foot dragging, though masterfully executed by EPA chief Stephen Johnson, won't be able to buy much more time. The Supreme Court ruled one year ago
that the EPA had the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, and that it had to act. Johnson may soon run out of string
on that one. And several states are suing the EPA over his decision to block California's institution of tough emissions limits on cars and trucks.
So "regulatory nightmare" or "regulatory train wreck," as White House spokeswoman Dana Perino prefers, is a way of saying that the resulting limits would be too low for their taste.
So what will the White House support? Something that threads the needle with a solution that is not so weak that Democrats will not support it, while somehow placating conservatives who would prefer that there be no mandatory limits. Perino describes the administration's aim as a "reasonable and responsible action." Should be fun.