If Blame Must Be Assigned, Place It Where It Is Deserved

My friend Dan is on a tear about the Bush administration. No, this has nothing to do directly with our current actions in Iraq, he actually sort of supports that, this is more personal. It’s a domestic issue. You see, Dan lives in California and is concerned about environmental issues. California has lead the way in tough vehicle emissions laws and in regulating the auto industry. The Bush administration is urging a federal appeals court to nullify California rules demanding that car manufacturers reduce emissions or increase miles per gallon for new vehicles sold in the state.

After reading the article I’ve got to say that I believe Dan is overreacting a little. According to the article no one is really happy with this law; the environmentalist think it’s too weak and the automakers think it is unworkable. This tells me that it may just be an ill-written law attempting to solve a very real problem that California has.

This whole thing started out with California demanding that 10 percent of automakers’ fleets sold there produce zero emissions beginning next year. A Fresno federal judge told them they couldn’t do this and even California regulators recognized that this was an unworkable law so they decided to make allowances as long as certain gas mileage goals were met. That’s where the feds stepped in. Regulating gas mileage is the domain of federal regulators, not the state’s.

Dan seems to believe that the Bush administration is getting involved because of their buddies in the auto industry. I tend to believe this not to be the case. Any government is going to do everything they can in order to protect their authority in their jurisdiction. If regulating gas mileage is in the exclusive domain of the feds then they have to do what they can to prevent the state from usurping their authority.

Now, Dan’s other complaint is valid. I know that Bush has had a hard-on for Saddam Hussein since before he was elected but wanting to take on Iraq before dealing with al-Qaeda and the Taliban would have been a horrible mistake.