By Dan Shapley
Democrats preside over a House divided. Supporters of California's greenhouse gas emission limit on vehicles -- which 11 other states want to adopt -- are fighting to extinguish a rival plan by staunch supporters of the nation's automobile industry. An energy bill would consolidate the ability to set fuel efficiency standards in the Transportation Department -- just weeks after the Supreme Court put a stamp of approval on the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to regulate greenhouse gases as pollution, even if that pollution spews out of tailpipes. The EPA is considering a request from California that would allow the state to start regulating greenhouse gas tailpipe emissions this decade, and 11 other states would follow suit. So removing the EPA's authority to regulate the gas would preempt the plan by California, and the rest of the states, to take action close to home on global warming. The battle in the House, coinciding as it does with worldwide discussions on the issue at the G-8 Summit, shows how many political thorns prick politicians who try to tackle the climate issue, according to a story in the June 8 San Francisco Chronicle.