States join California in defense of emissions Law

Legal News Line Apr. 7, 2009, 8:30pm

Jerry Brown (D)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline)-California Attorney General Jerry Brown, backed by 14 other states, urged President Barack Obama on Tuesday to overturn the Bush Administration's efforts to keep California from enforcing its automobile greenhouse gas emissions law.

In a comment letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, Brown and other state attorneys general asked that the EPA grant a waiver under the Clean Air Act to allow the state to enforce its laws, which exceed the federal standards.

"The Bush Administration's shameful denial of California's waiver fundamentally ignored the serious impacts that global warming is having on our state," Brown said in a statement. "The Obama administration should overturn Bush's wrongheaded decision and allow California to enforce its greenhouse gas law."

In 2002, California enacted legislation requiring a 30 percent reduction in automobile greenhouse gas emissions by 2016. The EPA must grant a waiver to allow the state to enforce the law.

The EPA, under former President George W. Bush, denied California's request for the waiver in 2007. The EPA contended that the state did not need the regulation to address "compelling and extraordinary conditions."

Brown contends that global warming threatens the state's snow pack in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, which provides about one-third of the state's drinking water, in addition to the large coastline and levees threatened by rising tides due to global warming.

Because the state has 32 million registered vehicles, twice the number of any other state, the impact on greenhouse gas emissions does create a compelling need for the increased regulatory standards, Brown argued.

Brown's letter was also signed by the New York City Corporation Counsel and officials from 14 states, including Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
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