Looking back at seven years of ever-looming — yet constantly narrowly-averted — GHG emissions regulations, it seems like it might have been a lot less painful to industry and damaging to the economy if the Bushies would have laid out a simple set of expectations early on and then just let us handle it from there. Even if the resultant regulations wouldn’t have been nearly as stringent as most of us would have liked, industry might have benefited from the certainty.

Preferring to keep us all waiting just a little longer, however, last Thursday Bush’s EPA put off any possible whining about regulations until well into the next administration:

… Last year the Supreme Court ruled, contrary to the Bush administration’s wishes, that greenhouse gases were a pollutant that came under the jurisdiction of the EPA. So the EPA’s scientists took a look, and they concluded that, yes, greenhouse gases contributed to global warming and ought to be regulated under the Clean Air Act. The White House, of course, was not happy about this, so on Thursday EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson deep-sixed the scientific findings and opened up a “lengthy public comment period” to give corporate contributors the public a chance to weigh in on this.

To which Rep. Markey (D-Mass.) adds:

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

This cynical step by EPA to announce an “Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” in the coming months should be seen for what it is: an “Aspirational Notice of Procrastinational Rulemaking.”