After months of tough talk and finger-wagging, the state of California on Thursday filed suit against the U.S. EPA to force a decision on a contentious greenhouse-gas emissions rule. At issue is whether California can enact its own regulations for vehicle emissions, bypassing the feds; it filed a waiver in late 2005 asking for permission to do so, and the EPA has been kicking the idea around ever since. And by kicking the idea around, we mean completely ignoring it. However! EPA head Stephen Johnson has pledged to come up with a decision by the end of this year. The suit will make sure that happens, say Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and crew, and if the decision lands against California, there will be more legal action to follow: “We’ll sue again, sue again, and sue again until we get it,” Schwarzenegger promised. Meanwhile, EPA was pissed by the grandstanding: “[Johnson] has stated numerous times that he plans to make a decision by the end of the year,” said an agency spokesperson. “It’s unfortunate that California is more interested in getting a good headline than allowing us to make a decision.” Should California prevail, about a dozen states are prepared to adopt its tough emissions rule.

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