The Bush administration has refused to allow California and 16 other states to set their own strict standards on tailpipe admissions. EPA chief Stephen Johnson yesterday declined to grant California a federal waiver to impose its own standards on greenhouse gas admissions from vehicles. The other states were poised to follow California's lead. The decision likely means a long court battle.
Johnson says the new energy bill signed into law yesterday makes efforts by individual states unnecessary. But that's "a phony argument and ridiculous on its face," said Sen. Barbara Boxer. She and other critics say that the new federal standards don't go far enough and that states have a right to act on their own.