NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


October 29, 2007

California plans to sue the Environmental Protection Agency for delaying a decision over whether to let the state aggressively reduce car and truck tailpipe emissions, says USA Today.

The lawsuit's outcome could affect not only the California law aimed at cutting greenhouse gases but also the ability of other states to take similar actions:

  • At stake are regulations California approved in 2004 that would require all new car models sold in the state, beginning in 2009, to cut their greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The rules would lower heat-trapping gases from California vehicles by 18 percent by 2020, the California Air Resources Board says.
  • Under the U.S. Clean Air Act, California must receive a waiver from the EPA before it can implement anti-pollution measures more stringent than federal standards; the state requested the waiver more than 22 months ago.

Fourteen other states have adopted, or announced their intention to adopt, California's standards.  After California files its complaint, it's likely that most of the other states will file a motion to intervene on California's behalf, says USA Today.

Automakers prefer a national policy, says Michael Stanton, CEO of the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers.  Stanton says granting California a waiver would create state-by-state standards that would "hurt sales…obfuscate trade and make our customers unhappy."

Source: Bobby Carmichael, "California gears up for car emissions fight," USA Today, October 28, 2007.

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