Gregoire Will Fight Bush on Clear Car Legislation

Governor Gregoire announced today that she will take legal action against the Bush Administration’s rejection of Washington State’s Clean Car Legislation passed earlier this year.

Governor Gregoire said that she has “requested our Attorney General file in support of California’s challenge to this decision as soon as possible.”

As the Washington Post reported earlier, California Governor Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger immediately announced his intention to fight President Bush’s EPA’s decision that was released yesterday.

It is completely absurd to assert that California does not have a compelling need to fight global warming by curbing greenhouse gas emissions from cars,” California Attorney General Jerry Brown said. “There is absolutely no legal justification for the Bush administration to deny this request _ Gov. Schwarzenegger and I are preparing to sue at the earliest possible moment.”

The Associated Press reports that Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski will also join in any legal action.

Today’s decision by the EPA is very disappointing for Oregon and our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that lead to global warming,” Kulongoski said. But he said it “does not diminish my commitment to combat climate change and I will move forward with any legal or administrative means necessary to make sure Oregon can set its own tailpipe emission standards.”

Also according to the Washington Post Maryland will join any legal action initiated. Maryland’s Attorney General Douglas Gansler said

Maryland officials want to join any litigation filed by officials in California, who have said they are preparing a lawsuit.
“We feel like we’re on strong legal ground to bring this suit,” Gansler said in a telephone interview yesterday. “There’s no legal justification for them [the EPA] to deny the request.”

The tailpipe standards California adopted in 2004 would have forced automakers to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent in new cars and light trucks by 2016, with the cutbacks beginning in the 2009 model year.

On Wednesday, Bush’s EPA Administrator denied California’s request for a waiver under the US Clean Air Act so they could implement stronger measures to clean up car pollution contributing to global warming and pollution. Washington’ State’s Clean Car Legislation would go into effect when California’s did and would follow California’s standards. Fifteen states in addition to Washington have passed legislation to enact the proposed California standards.

The states that sued the EPA in November to grant a waiver for stricter standards based on California’s proposed standards included, in addition to California, Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Oregon and Washington.

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