Max Schulz has a new web item on City Journal thanking President Obama for his bold leadership in letting California do his dirty work. An excerpt:
One might ask what the harm is in letting California pass its own laws and Californians deal with the consequences. In theory, it’s a good idea, and represents the essence of federalism’s guarantee of states’ rights. But in this case, advocates admit their aim is the complete opposite. They expect the effects of California’s stricter regulations to radiate far outside the Golden State’s borders. Indeed, they want to use California to circumvent federal law and, in the process, substitute Sacramento’s more onerous regulations for the ones that Congress passed in the 2007 energy bill. . . .
California’s law applies to cars sold, rather than made, in the state. The truth is that California no longer has any automobile industry of its own. Decades of aggressive anti-energy policies have caused energy prices in California to skyrocket, driving heavy industry to more business-friendly locales. Still, California wants to flex its bureaucratic muscle and regulate an industry located elsewhere.
For Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and California’s environmental activists, that’s precisely the point. Green groups are hailing Obama’s move as bold, decisive leadership to address climate change, just as they celebrate California’s muscular approach to regulating greenhouse gas emissions. But far from being a courageous move from the new president, Obama’s decision just passes the buck. The idea is to implement in blunt fashion costly regulations that Obama is unwilling or unable to persuade Congress to endorse, despite heavy Democratic majorities in both houses.
Read the rest here.