State fightin’ mad at EPA

California officials bent on reducing greenhouse-gas emissions will be headed to court over the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recent decision to block the state’s landmark environmental legislation.

Citing President Bush’s new federal energy law as the best way to curb the nation’s carbon output, EPA administrator Stephen Johnson denied a waiver allowing California to enact regulations more stringent than federal levels. The state’s rules would require a 23-percent reduction in emissions of new cars and light trucks by 2012, and a 30-percent cut by 2016.

Johnson’s move has been highly criticized by environmentalists and officials from an additional 16 states pledging to implement the same regulations. Among those preparing to battle the move are California Attorney General Jerry Brown and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who reportedly called the EPA the “environmental destruction agency.”