California to Sue EPA Over Greenhouse Gas Regulations

Date: January 2, 2008

Source: News Room

California has sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for denying the state's request to impose its own limits to greenhouse gas emissions from new cars and trucks. At least 16 other states had been expected to follow California's lead and are now expected to join the lawsuit, which was filed in the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson denied California a waiver on the basis of the new federal energy bill that raises fuel economy standards to an average of 35 mpg by 2020, which he said was a far more effective approach to reducing greenhouse gases than a patchwork of state regulations. California's law would have required the auto industry to cut emissions by one-third in new vehicles by 2016 or reach an average of 36.8 mpg.

Twelve other states -- Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington -- have adopted the California emissions standards.

The governors of Arizona, Colorado, Florida and Utah have said they also plan to adopt them. The rules also are under consideration in Iowa.

Fifteen states plan to intervene on California's behalf, including 13 of those that have either adopted or are in the process of adopting the rules. Delaware and Illinois, which have not passed the standards, also are part of the lawsuit.

The EPA's decision was a victory for automakers, who had argued that they would have been forced to reduce their selection of vehicles and raise prices in the states that adopted California's standards.

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