California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and Connecticut Gov. Jodi Rell (R) take to the pages of the Washington Post to send President Bush a simple message: “It’s high time the federal government becomes our partner or gets out of the way.”

At issue is the waiver Calif. and 11 other states need from the EPA to implement their new tailpipe-emissions standards. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court made it clear that California is perfectly within its rights to implement tougher-than-federal standards. All it needs is the waiver — just like the dozens of waivers it’s gotten from EPA in the past.

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But the EPA is dragging its feet, and Arnie is getting pissed.

Tell me, in a PR battle between the Governator and The Decider, who’s going to come out looking good? Is Bush really prepared to pile this final act of petulance onto the rubble of his historical legacy?

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