Obama could render Brown's greenhouse crusade moot

Chris Rizo Jan. 26, 2009, 12:04am

Jerry Brown (D)

Barack Obama (D)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline)-California Attorney General Jerry Brown's legal maneuvers to get the federal government to allow the state to regulate greenhouse gas emissions could be coming to a happy end.

The Washington Post reported Sunday that President Barack Obama today will order federal officials to reexamine Bush-era decisions not to allow individual states to limit climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions.

Last year, Brown, a Democrat, filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to force it to reconsider its denial of California's effort to impose limits on tailpipe emissions.

Following Obama's inauguration last week, California officials asked the Obama administration to reconsider the state's earlier requests.

Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in a letter asked Obama to direct the EPA to act favorably on California's reconsideration request.

"Your administration has a unique opportunity to ... move America toward global leadership on addressing climate change," the letter said.

The proposed California emissions standard, enacted in 2002, calls for a 30 percent cut in tailpipe emissions, such as carbon dioxide, by 2016.

The California standard had been set to start with the 2009 model year but was stayed by automaker lawsuits and the Bush administration's rejection of the state's preemption application.

Fourteen states -- including California -- and the District of Columbia have already adopted California's proposal. At least four other states have pledged to do so.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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