Car makers hail, Brown to sue EPA on state-based GHGs

Legal News Line Dec. 20, 2007, 3:23am

Jerry Brown (L) & Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

SACRAMENTO -- The auto industry has hailed a federal EPA refusal to grant California and 16 other states a waiver to regulate tailpipe greenhouse gases. But California Attorney General Jerry Brown called the ruling "completely absurd" and quickly announced yet another lawsuit against the EPA over the issue. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (AAM) yesterday praised the EPA's refusal to grant the waivers, which would have allowed California and 16 other states to set their own vehicular GHG emissions levels. President and CEO Dave McCurdy commended the EPA "for protecting a national, 50-state program" for GHG regulation. "[A] patchwork quilt of inconsistent and competing fuel economy programs at the state level would only have created confusion, inefficiency, and uncertainty for automakers and consumers," McCurdy added. But Brown said yesterday that he and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger would sue to overturn the ruling "at the earliest possible moment." Brown and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger filed suit against the EPA early last month to force the agency's to rule on California's waiver, LNL reported. The AG first warned in April he was launching a legal battle with the EPA over the Golden State's setting its own tailpipe-emissions rules, which it first requested in 2005. California's standards - along with the 16 joining states - would have required a 30 percent reduction in vehicle-tailpipe GHG emissions by 2016. McCurdy of the AAM pointed out, however, that events since 2005 have eclipsed a state-by-state approach to climate change in favor of national goals. "Under the new national fuel economy law, automakers will make dramatic, 30-percent reductions in carbon dioxide," he stated. The AAM consists of seven leading international vehicle makers plus the U.S. "Big Three" of Ford, General Motors and Chrysler.

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