It isn’t often that the U.S. Supreme Court gets involved deeply in matters dealing with environmental pollution. But several weeks ago, it ruled that the federal government could regulate greenhouse gases.
This historic decision prompted California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to proclaim that he will sue the Environmental Protection Agency to give him the power to regulate automobile emissions in his state.
The court decision and Schwarzenegger’s speedy follow-up come none too soon. The world’s foremost environmental scientists have leaked a report that warns that what governments do about auto emissions in the next 20 to 30 years will determine whether the world can avoid the worst consequences of global pollution.
Whether or not speedy action takes place rests in good measure in the hands of Stephen Johnson, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. He has, so far, not acted on Schwarzenegger’s request that was initiated in 2005. At that time, the EPA denied the request on the grounds that it lacked the authority to comply with the request.
But, the decision of the Supreme Court has cleared the way for action. In addition to California, there are 11 other states that have been awaiting clearance.
Once the ball gets rolling we, our children and grandchildren will be breathing cleaner air.