Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today notified the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that California will file a lawsuit against the federal government six months and one day after the required notice was originally sent on April 26, 2007. (see letter below)
Last Friday, U.S. EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson indicated to the U.S. House of Representatives Special Committee on Global Warming that he will wait until late next year to decide on whether to issue regulations controlling emissions from vehicles.
By announcing the EPA’s intention to not act on California ‘s waiver until late next year, the U.S. EPA is preventing California and other states from taking action to reduce greenhouse gases. Eleven other states have adopted the California standards as their own and six more are now in the process. The group of states makes up about one-third of all US auto sales.
Under the Federal Clean Air Act, California has the right to set it’s own vehicle emission standards, and other states have the right to adopt the California standards as their own, upon receipt of a waiver from U.S. EPA. The Federal agency is obligated to provide California a waiver unless certain conditions are not met. The eleven other states that have adopted California ‘s vehicle emissions standards include: Vermont , New York , New Jersey , Massachusetts , Connecticut , Maine , Rhode Island , Pennsylvania , Maryland , Washington and Oregon .
On December 21, 2005, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) requested a waiver of federal preemption of California ‘s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards. The waiver would allow California to enact emissions standards to reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles. The waiver was requested after the ARB developed regulations based on a 2002 California law.
In April, the U.S. Supreme Court issued ruling saying the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to regulate greenhouse gases.
In letters sent on April 10, 2006 and October 24, 2006 to President Bush, the Governor reiterated the urgency of approving California ‘s request to address global warming.
The Governor today sent the following letter to U.S. EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson:
June 13, 2007