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States Sue EPA Over Emissions Waiver Denial

In the latest round of the legal wrangling between the EPA and California over the emissions waiver request, California and 15 other states are suing the EPA, reports the L.A. Times.  The lawsuit seeks to overturn the federal government’s decision to reject California’s bid to curtail greenhouse gases from cars and trucks.

“It is unconscionable that the federal government is keeping California and nineteen other states from adopting these standards,” Governor Schwarzenegger said. “They are ignoring the will of millions of people who want their government to take action in the fight against global warming. That’s why, at the very first legal opportunity, we’re suing to reverse the U.S. EPA’s wrong decision. California has always been a leader in protecting the environment, and we will do everything in our power to continue that proud tradition.”

The lawsuit was filed in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

According to the Clean Air Act, California can enact pollution laws stricter than the federal laws, provided it is given a waiver from the EPA.  But in a two page letter dated on December 19, EPA administrator Stephen Johnson denied the waiver.  Schwarznegger immediately announced his intent to sue.

Shortly after the EPA’s waiver denial, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) called for an investigation into administrator Johnson’s actions.  That Johnson’s decision might have been politically influenced gained credence with the report that he had ignored the advice of his own staff.

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