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.

One Response to Gregoire Will Fight Bush on Clear Car Legislation

  1. Janelle says:

    Hi Steve,
    I wasn’t sure if you’d seen this news release from the Attorney General’s office announcing that we intervened in this suit, but I know you’ve been very interested in the environmental work of the office so I wanted to share it with you and your readers.

    Washington intervenes in CA Emissions battle

    OLYMPIA—In an effort to defend Washington’s tough vehicle emissions standards law, Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced Washington state will join 14 other states in intervening in California’s lawsuit filed earlier today.

    The lawsuit filed today in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals challenges the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to deny California’s request for a waiver to implement its greenhouse gas emissions standards.

    “The state of Washington followed California’s lead in adopting standards for vehicle emissions with the understanding California’s request for a federal pre-emption waiver would be granted in a timely manner,” McKenna said. “Now after nearly two years of waiting, EPA has denied the waiver, leaving states frustrated in their ability to address climate change concerns for their residents.”

    The Clean Air Act generally preempts states from adopting their own vehicle emissions standards with the exception of California because of its efforts to address long-standing air pollution problems. The Clean Air Act allows other states to adopt California’s standards as long as those standards are identical to California’s.

    California adopted landmark vehicle emissions standards in 2005 and filed its waiver request in December 2005. Since then, 16 other states, including Washington, have also adopted or are considering adopting these standards.

    None of these state laws may go into effect until California obtains its waiver of preemption from the federal government.

    On Dec. 19, 2007, EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson notified California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of EPA’s decision to deny the state’s waiver request. Johnson stated he believed the problem of greenhouse gas emissions extends beyond state boundaries and calls for a national solution. He also found that California’s standards were not needed “to meet compelling and extraordinary conditions.”

    Today’s lawsuit, which seeks to reverse the EPA decision, was filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The states or state agencies intervening in the suit are: Massachusetts, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

    If you go to our Web site, you can download the briefs, too.
    Janelle Guthrie, Communications Director for the office of the Attorney General.

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