June 30, 2009
Obama Administration Wise to Uphold California’s Right to Regulate Vehicle Emissions
Statement of Lena Pons, Policy Analyst, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch Division*
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement today that it will allow California to enforce greenhouse gas emissions standards for motor vehicles is a major step forward in combating global climate change. California passed its standards in 2005 but could not enforce them until today’s decision.
The decision rightly reverses a Bush administration order to block the California standards and resolves years of legal challenges including a 2007 U.S. Supreme Court decision that established carbon dioxide as an air pollutant and several lawsuits brought by automakers. It allows California, 13 states and the District of Columbia to achieve greenhouse gas reductions from motor vehicles at a faster pace than those required by the new federal fuel economy standards for model year 2011.
We applaud the early action of California and other states. These efforts demonstrate states’ effectiveness as laboratories for innovative policy on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles.