This is all for the sake of a clear national policy according to the head of the EPA, "The Bush administration is moving forward with a clear national solution — not a confusing patchwork of state rules...I believe this is a better approach than if individual states were to act alone."
Better for whom, you might wonder? Well, better for automakers, for sure. Probably not for the environment or those breathing the air in Los Angeles. The auto industry quickly praised the EPA decision, saying they respect the need for federal regulation of air pollution as long as they don't have to deal with those pesky states.
It's a clear political tit-for-tat between the White House and Detroit. Bush gets to sign the Energy Law in the morning, giving the auto industry another 12 years to match standards already in place elsewhere on the planet. Then in the afternoon, the same administration denies states the power to do any enforcement of tougher air standards on their own.