California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger notified the US 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.
Last Friday, US EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson indicated to the US 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 Governor says, the US EPA is preventing California and other states from taking action to reduce greenhouse gases. (Earlier post.) 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.
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.
In the letter he sent to Johnson, Schwarzenegger wrote:
Nearly eighteen months ago, the State of California requested a federal preemption waiver for California’s motor vehicle greenhouse gas emissions standards. Last Friday, you told the U.S. House of Representatives Special Committee on Global Warming that you will wait until late next year to decide on whether to issue regulations controlling emissions from vehicles. More recently still, the U.S. Department of Transportation defended the fact that department officials are contacting members of Congress and urging them to oppose our efforts to fight global climate change. Under your time period, California will have waited about three years for a decision that has been made in our favor more than forty times in the past. By that time, especially given a federal agency’s active opposition to our waiver, our respective governments will be embroiled in a lawsuit over these regulations.
...Given your comments in front of the Special Committee and the work of the US Department of Transportation, a lawsuit on the 181st day now appears to be inevitable.
...The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is obligated under the federal Clean Air Act to grant in a reasonable time period our request for action. If the EPA does not act on California’s waiver request by October 22, 2007, the Air Resources Board will file a lawsuit. While protecting Californians from the threat of global climate change should not be forced into the court room, I am fully prepared to take whatever legal or political actions are necessary to ensure this threat is avoided.