Update on Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna Asleep at the Wheel

On Tuesday I speculated aloud about why Washington State was not a party to the Lawsuit filed by California and 9 others states plus the city of New York and the District of Columbia challenging the weak Federal Fuel Efficiency Standards issued in March.. I wondered if it could have been because McKenna received some 28 contributions over $1000 each (over $36,000) from automobile interests when he ran for Washington State Attorney General.

To be fair I have a call into the Attorney General’s Office asking why Washington State is not a party to this lawsuit. When the Bush Administration issued the fuel efficiency standards in March it also included a 52 page statement saying that only the Federal Government could regulate CO2 emissions from cars and trucks.

Such an action would override the Clean Car legislation the Washington State Legislature passed last year. It seems that from consumer protection, health protection and environmental protection Attorney General Rob McKenna is not protecting Washington State’s interests.

In addition to trying to get their response verbally I have just sent them the following e-mail entitled “Why is Washington State not a party to the Lawsuit filed by the California AG to increase fuel efficiency standards for SUV’s and light trucks?

Dear Attorney General Rob McKenna,

Yesterday the California Attorney General and nine other state Attorney Generals and the District of Columbia and New City filed a lawsuit in Federal Court challenging the Federal fuel efficiency standards set in March for light trucks and SUV’s. See press release http://ag.ca.gov/news alerts/release.php?id=1299#attachments

Almost all of the states in the lawsuit have passed Clean Car Legislation patterned after California’s. Washington State passed such legislation last year.And Oregon is in the process of enacting similar rules.

As part of the final standards issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a 52 page memorandum was added by the current administration stating that the Federal Government, not the states , have the authority to regulate CO2 emissions.

It would seem to me that the state of Washington needs to respond to this issue, not just because it challenges legislation passed by the Washington State Legislature, but also because of the need for Washington State to do all it can increase fuel efficiency and cut gases that contribute to global emissions.

Thank you for your response.

Steve Zemke
In addition I have contacted the California Attorney General’s Office on this matter.I asked them if they had asked McKenna about being on the suit. A person in their press office responded that “the protocol is to reach out to a wide variety of states.” They do this through their national organization – the National Association of Attorney Generals.

She said they communicated regularly with other states to make it possible to join the lawsuit. “Lots of communication goes on”. She said I should check with the Washington AG’s office and said” it was a fair question to ask” when I wondered if his decision was affected by our Attorney General getting donations from automotive interests.

One response to “Update on Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna Asleep at the Wheel