New EPA chief ready to give California new car rules of its own?

January 15, 2009

Environmental Protection Agency chief-to-be Lisa Jackson said science would be her guide on policy – and that may mean California is in the driver’s seat on setting new global-warming-style regulations on cars. (Not to mention the nearly 20 other states ready to follow in its footsteps.)

Jackson said she would reconsider whether California should get a waiver from the EPA that would allow it to regulate carbon pollution from cars, the San Francisco Chronicle said. The Bush administration has said no to such a waiver – but Jackson said she would focus on the science.

“She said today ‘I’m going to do it’. I mean, she didn’t say that — but I don’t think the auto industry has any doubt,” Sierra Club chief Carl Pope said shortly after a Senate confirmation hearing for Jackson. “She didn’t have to signal that strongly.”

Environmentalists see the waiver as one of the biggest issues facing incoming President Barack Obama.

Pope also interpreted her answers as meaning she would move to regulate carbon pollution from stationary power sources. The U.S. Supreme Court said EPA could treat greenhouse gases which contribute to global warming as pollution — but the agency has not under President Bush.

PHOTO: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

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[...] appear to be on California’s side, as Jackson said during her confirmation hearing that she would reconsider California’s request for a waiver on auto emissions — and [...]