California, Drop Dead

Public Opinion Snapshot:

California wants to regulate greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to save oil and curb global warming, but the Bush administration isn't giving them any leeway.

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California wants to start regulating greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks in an effort to save oil and curb global warming. What is the Bush administration’s reaction? Why, to stop them from doing so, of course!

The Environmental Protection Agency has refused to issue a ruling on California’s request for a waiver under the Clean Air Act to enable the state to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from vehicle tailpipes.

This is bizarre even for the Bush administration. You’d think they’d want to get a little easy credit—by simply granting a waiver—for doing something about global warming. But they’re apparently just not interested enough in the problem to do so.

No wonder, as the chart below shows, the public believes by more than 3:1, or 68 percent to 21 percent, that the Bush administration hasn’t “done as much as it should to address climate change and reduce global warming.”

This is the kind of thing that could get the public downright testy, as they are increasingly convinced that action against global warming should be pursued immediately and aggressively. Consider the data from a recent Yale University/Gallup poll, which shows that 62 percent agree that, “Life on earth will continue without major disruptions only if we take immediate and drastic action to reduce global warming.”

But the Bush administration prefers to twiddle their thumbs rather than take even the most modest action against this looming threat. A very sad commentary indeed.

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Ruy Teixeira

Former Senior Fellow

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