Should federal climate change and energy legislation pre-empt the EPA and the states from controlling greenhouse gas emissions?
Last week, attorneys general from several coastal states called on the Senate to allow the states to adopt climate change mandates that are more aggressive than the federal laws. In a letter to Senate legislation authors John Kerry, D-Mass.; Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; and Joe Lieberman, I/D-Conn., the state officials recommended federal legislation that "capitalizes on, and does not abandon, the significant progress that has been achieved through numerous State efforts to address global warming pollution."
But U.S. energy companies and manufacturers are adamant that the Senate climate bill pre-empt the states and the EPA's Clean Air Act authority to control greenhouse gases. Who's right? Is there a middle ground? How critical is this issue in the ongoing climate change negotiations?