Just you watch, before it's all through, the automotive/greenhouse gas/environmental legislation and counter-legislation moving through Congress right now is not going to be decided by vote, but by a cage match. First, the Supreme Court ruled the EPA had the power to regulate emissions. California decided to show the EPA how to do that, and declared what kind of gas mileage cars sold in the state had to get -- but it has to get a waiver from the EPA to actually follow through on it. Vermont did the same, and got sued by the automakers. The Senate thought it might calm everyone down by setting new CAFE standards to take effect in 2020, in a bill that is supposed to be decided this week or next. Automakers then came back with another Senate measure that would stall the first one. Got it so far?

Now, Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) has put together a "discussion draft" as part of comprehensive environmental legislation to be written by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. It states that the EPA would set the requirements for C02 emissions, and "would be the exclusive regulatory regime for governing new motor vehicle emissions of greenhouse gases." That would mean that the EPA is the final decider of what's going to happen nationwide as far as vehicle emissions are concerned. So California and its fellow states trying to decide what they want ... can sit back down and wait for the EPA to tell the country what it's going to get. Furthermore, in such case, the EPA can't grant waivers to states that wish to enforce their own limits.

Of course, it only gets more exciting after that, with charges of shady dealing, skulduggery and promises of fights to come over states' rights. Remember, when the Senate's CAFE bill was first mooted, the Democrats said they expected it to pass. We wonder if they're still so sure. And with this kind of action, who needs telenovelas?

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]