Tom Cackette, Chief Deputy Executive Officer, California Environmental Protection Agency Air Resources Board (CARB) talked to Lou Ann Hammond, CEO, www.drivingthenation.com, about the October 24, 2007 deadline for the Federal EPA to give California a waiver to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or be sued.
Cackette also addressed the issue of oil companies being mandated to lower their carbon fuel standards by having more ethanol in their gasoline and E85 pumps in their gas stations.
I went back and found the news release after Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. addressed the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Below are the juicy parts of Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. California Department of Justice new.
CALIFORNIA PREPARING TO SUE EPA IF IT BLOCKS STATES EFFORT TO REDUCE GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS
WASHINGTON (May 22, 2007) “ Charging the Bush Administration is “acting in collusion with the auto and oil industries,” California Attorney General Jerry Brown said California is preparing to sue the federal government if it blocks the states efforts to reduce greenhouse gas-causing emissions from motor vehicles.
Addressing a U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hearing, Brown said federal law allows California to set vehicle emission standards tougher than federal regulations, and then allows other states to adopt the California standard.
“The California legislature passed a greenhouse law in 2002 requiring automakers to reduce vehicle global warming emissions 30 percent by 2016,” Brown explained. “There is no doubt that automobile manufacturers can meet that goal, and since the federal government does not want to seek such a reduction California intends to move forward.”
Brown said that 11 other states — Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington — have now adopted the California standard.
“Together we represent one-third of the population of the United States, and the people of our 12 states want to act now to combat global warming. We are not willing to wait while President Bush offers only rhetoric, excuses, and delays. Suing the federal government is not our first choice, but we will have no choice if our legitimate efforts to protect our planet are blocked because of partisan political games in Washington.”
Brown pointed out that the states that battle against global warming are a bi-partisan effort.
“The California law was passed by a Democratic legislature and signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican. Gov. Schwarzenegger supports our plans to sue EPA if we are not allowed to implement the California law. Protecting our planet is not a partisan issue, and the states now want to do what we can in the absence of federal action, and the EPA has no right to deny us the ability to move forward.”
Brown said the proposed California standards are the most comprehensive effort to combat global warming in U.S. history. Brown said California filed its request for an EPA waiver, which in the past has always been routinely granted, in December 2005. Under the Clean Air Act, California can adopt stricter standards by requesting a waiver from EPA and such requests have been approved more than 50 times in the past. Approval of Californias waiver means the other states would get approval automatically.
Congress passed the Clean Air Act in 1963 and subsequent amendments in 1967, 1970 and 1977 expressly allowed California to impose stricter environmental regulations in recognition of the states “compelling and extraordinary conditions,” including topography, climate, high number and concentration of vehicles and it’s pioneering role in vehicle emissions regulation. Brown said Congress intended the state to continue its pioneering efforts at adopting stricter motor vehicle emissions standards, far more advanced than the federal rules.
“Our waiver request has been pending for a year and a half, which is an unreasonable delay,” Brown said. “Our patience is wearing thin. We watch the President and his EPA acting in collusion with the auto and oil industries, while we want to take reasonable, constructive steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We are now preparing to sue unless we receive our waiver within a short time.”
THE CASE FOR CALIFORNIAS GREENHOUSE GAS LAW
On April 2, the Supreme Court demanded EPA to consider adopting regulations to combat climate change, noting “the harms associated with climate change are serious and well recognized.” The court observed that environmental changes “have already inflicted significant harms” including retreating glaciers, an early spring snowmelt and “accelerated rate of rising of sea levels during the 20th century relative to the past few thousand years.”
Automobiles emit 10% of global carbon dioxide emissions, the main form of greenhouse gas pollution. The United States, with 5% of the world’s population and 30% of the world’s automobiles, contributes 45% of the worlds carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles.
Today, there are at least 600 million cars on the road worldwide and there will be over one billion by 2020, one car for every 6 ½ people on the planet. Every gallon of gas a car burns releases 19.4 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
The Bush administration has failed to improve efficiency by approving a trivial 1 mile-per-gallon increase for SUVs, pickups, and minivans (22.2 miles per gallon to 23.5) by 2010. California and other states are suing the Bush administration over this insufficient standard.
In 2002, California passed a law requiring automakers to reduce vehicle greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2016. Eleven other states follow Californias lead: Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.
States rules can be met by a host of innovations such as turbocharging, cylinder deactivation, multi-speed transmissions, variable timing and gasoline-direct injection.
WAYS TO START REVERSING GLOBAL WARMING
Let one-third of the nation regulate greenhouse gases
Permit California and eleven other states to use the vehicle global warming pollution standards they have already enacted because these states account for 30 percent of the nations vehicle fleet. These states established comprehensive laws to cut greenhouse gas emissions that are causing global warming. Unfortunately, since 2005, Bush has directed the EPA to ignore the request to impose tough regulations.
Increase fuel economy standards for SUVs, Minivans and light trucks
Bush’s plan of inaction to remedy fuel inefficiency is just a meager 1-mile-per gallon increase. This standard is grossly inadequate and, in fact, illegal because it was adopted without complying with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). That is why California and 11 other states have sued the Bush administration to have those deficient rules thrown out and replaced with standards that will aid the global warming fight.
Withdraw support for the auto lobby’s suit against California
The auto lobby should withdraw it’s lawsuit’s against California, Oregon, Vermont, Maine and Rhode Island, in which the plaintiffs are challenging vehicle emissions regulations that can curb global warming.