Another Blow to Bush's EPA
In a decision that environmental groups are calling a "significant victory," a federal appeals court yesterday ruled that an Environmental Protection Agency rule curbing state and local control of pollution monitoring violates the Clean Air Act.
Critics say the Bush-backed rule prevented states and local governments from cracking down on pollution-causing power plants, factories and oil refineries. The U.S. Court of Appeals agreed.
In a 2 to 1 decision, Judge Thomas B. Griffith wrote for the majority that federal standards cannot ensure proper monitoring, so states and local governments "must be allowed to fill the gap," The Post's Del Quentin Wilber reported.
Yesterday's ruling was the latest setback to the Bush administration's beleaguered EPA.
Last month, House Democrats questioned the White House's involvement in an EPA administrator's decision to block California's bid to regulate vehicles' tailpipe emissions, overruling EPA officials in favor of the mandate. Ex-EPA official, Jason K. Burnett, told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that the White House ordered the EPA to block California's request, contradicting earlier Senate testimony by EPA administrator Stephen L. Johnson.
More than a week before the California show-down, a federal panel threw out a major part of the administration's aggressive plan to reduce soot and smog in the Eastern and Midwestern states, saying the EPA overstepped its authority.
Despite pressure from the Supreme Court to take action, the Bush administration has opted not to take any new steps to regulate greenhouse gas emissions before the end of the year, leaving the matter of increasing regulations to the next administration.
By Derek Kravitz |
August 20, 2008; 2:03 PM ET
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