California Breathin'

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Photo: cc:Wiki Commons

Looks like Obama will at last allow California -- and another dozen or so states who follow the Golden State's rules -- to regulate auto greenhouse emissions through the backdoor by boosting fuel economy standards to 35 mpg.

(NYTimes.com story here)

My suspicion is that this is how we'll see Obama handle climate in the early days of the administration. The Bushies bottlenecked so much scientifically driven regulation that there's a lot of meaningful reform already in the pipeline.

Getting rid of Bush opened the valves. Obama merely has to stand back and let the existing regulatory frameworks relieve the built up pressure.

California can regulate cars. Other states can implement regional cap-and-trade systems. EPA has a Supreme Court mandate to regulate greenhouse gasses under the Clean Air Act, slowing new coal-fired power plants. This change is coming quickly. And fortunately for Obama, it shouldn't require much political capital on his part in the first 100 days.