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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Ring in the New Lawsuit: Fight for Vehicle Emissions Standards Renewed

In response to the United States Environmental Protection Agency's rejection of California's application for a waiver to regulate the tailpipe emissions on vehicles, California, five environmental non-profit organizations and fifteen other states are suing the EPA.

Joining California are the states of Massachusetts, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington in one lawsuit and Conservation Law Foundation, Environmental Defense, the International Center for Technology Assessment, the Natural Resources Defense Counsel and the Sierra Club in a separate suit. Both suits are filed with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, CA.

So while the Supreme Court has ruled that the EPA has the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act, the EPA now claims that the only way we should regulate emissions is through a national plan. EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson stated that the increase in fuel economy that President Bush signed into law will be better than "patchwork" state regulations, even though the combination of both would would be far stronger than anything the Bush administration has proposed.

It seems like the only way to get anywhere with the Bush administration EPA is to sue them to force them to do the right thing. Well, it's a new year and a new lawsuit. Let's keep it going and we may even have the emissions standards in place for 2009, the first model year that the standards affect.

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