For some time now the American environmental movement, especially in regards to CO2 emissions from cars, has been held back by state-specific legislation that makes it difficult to demand uniform change across the nation. A new proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), however, calling for the declaration of CO2 and other greenhouse gases as a 'public danger' may be the first step in creating a national emissions framework.

The EPA submitted the proposal to the White House on Friday, and in an interview with The Detroit News government spokesman Robert Gibbs said president Barack Obama wants Congress to act on it. Gibbs explained that the reasoning for the introduction of a national emissions framework is that it would eventually lead to a viable market for renewable energy.

The EPA's reluctance to allow individual states to set their own emissions laws has been apparent in the past, especially when the agency denied a petition from California and a number of other states requesting to do just that. Currently, California and Massachusetts are among the states requesting a waiver from Obama that would allow them to create their own state-specific emissions laws.

A similar request was denied by the Bush administration, and many analysts believe such a move would worsen the situation facing America's struggling auto industry. In fact, considering the Obama’s desire to keep these companies operable, as well as his apparent support of the EPA's proposal, it seems likely the White House may be more inclined to a national framework for emissions standards, rather than allowing individual states to create a patchwork of emissions regulations on their own.