Pelosi Scrubs Dirty Air Proposal

Bill Scher

Yesterday, TomPaine.com’s Alec Dubro called attention to a draft bill from coal-friendly Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va. — with tacit support from auto industry pal Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich. — which would have prevented states from having strong greenhouse gas emission standards for cars.

Today, the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Boucher and Dingell ain’t getting that past Speaker Nancy Pelosi:

…Pelosi, responding to pressure from California officials and environmentalists, has slapped down a new proposal by top House Democrats that would have wiped out California’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases from cars and trucks.

In a brief but pointed statement Tuesday night, the San Francisco Democrat said, “Any proposal that affects California’s landmark efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or eliminates the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions will not have my support.”

Her message was a shot at two House Democrats — Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va., and Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., both leaders on the House Energy and Commerce Committee who have been crafting new energy legislation that would have thwarted the state’s ability to set tougher-than-federal standards to cut vehicle emissions.

Her opposition means the proposal will never make it to the House floor.

While recognizing that the provision won’t become law, the Chronicle’s editorial board laments what it might portend:

…the outmoded thinking could still become a bargaining chip or a way of watering down the genuine need to overhaul energy policy.

Some days we get positive signs from Energy Committee leaders Dingell and Boucher that they will work in good faith to fashion a strong global warming bill, and some days we don’t.

So while it’s a positive that Pelosi is riding herd on Dingell and Boucher, it’s a problem that she still has to.

UPDATE: Blue Climate sends a friendly warning to Dingell:

If he does push ahead, “chairman” Dingell may risk losing more than this particular battle … Judging from reaction in the progressive blogosphere there are a lot of people in the Democratic party who are furious with his attempt to block California and other states from being allowed to regulate the auto emissions of carbon dioxide.

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