But the report’s release this past week didn’t even make most of the local papers. It certainly didn’t accomplish its goal of prodding the state government into action.

The Patrick administration is unilaterally undertaking some major reforms intended to reduce emissions at state agencies, and has just released a draft of new guidelines for including greenhouse gas emissions into the state’s environmental-review process.

Unfortunately, with the White House blocking national efforts, individual states that spend a lot of money implementing tough standards might just push businesses to the state next door. Between now and the end of Bush’s tenure, “is a time for states like Massachusetts to focus on inventing and designing what may eventually become a national policy,” says Ian Bowles, state secretary of energy and environmental affairs. Full-scale implementation can come later. To see what we’re trying to avoid, see the report at climatechoices.org/ne.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Niki Tsongas did not fire her field manager. That field manager resigned to take a position at a nonprofit organization.

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