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EPA Grants California Vehicle GHG Regulations Waiver

The US Environmental Agency (EPA) has granted California’s waiver request enabling the state to enforce its greenhouse gas emissions standards (Pavley I) for new motor vehicles, beginning with the current model year. According to evidence submitted by California during the waiver process, an EPA official said, automakers are currently already in compliance with the MY2009 Pavley requirement, and are tracking to compliance for 2010.

In September 2004 the California Air Resources Board (ARB) passed regulations to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) from new passenger vehicles starting in 2009. These regulations were authorized by the 2002 legislation Assembly Bill 1493 (Pavley). California requested from EPA the waiver required for implementation of the Pavley regulations in December 2005. The request was subsequently denied in December 2007.

This previous decision was based on an interpretation of the Clean Air Act finding that California did not have a need for its greenhouse gas emission standards to meet “compelling and extraordinary conditions.” (Earlier post.)

Shortly after taking office in January, President Barack Obama directed EPA to assess the appropriateness of denying the waiver. EPA received a letter from California on January 21, 2009, raising several issues for Administrator Jackson to review regarding the denial.

This decision puts the law and science first. After review of the scientific findings, and another comprehensive round of public engagement, I have decided this is the appropriate course under the law. This waiver is consistent with the Clean Air Act as it’s been used for the last 40 years and supports the prerogatives of the 13 states and the District of Columbia who have opted to follow California’s lead. More importantly, this decision reinforces the historic agreement on nationwide emissions standards developed by a broad coalition of industry, government and environmental stakeholders earlier this year.

—EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson

In granting the California waiver, EPA found that California continues to have a need for its motor vehicle emissions program, including the greenhouse gas standards. EPA also found that the California program meets legal requirements regarding the protectiveness of public health and welfare as well as technological feasibility.

Last month, President Obama announced a national policy of two harmonized standards, one for increasing fuel economy (to be issued by NHTSA) and the second for reducing greenhouse gas emissions (to be issued by EPA) for all new cars and trucks sold in the United States. The resulting new national standards will cover model years 2012-2016, and will require an average fuel economy standard of 35.5 mpg in 2016 (39 mpg for cars, 30 mpg for trucks), or approximately 250 grams CO2/mile. The CAFE program established by the EISA 2007 legislation specified a minimum 35 mpg in 2020. However, there will not be an exact one-to-one correspondence between the two standards—GHG and fuel economy—which will be the foundation of the national program.

When the national program for 2012-2106 takes effect, California has committed to allowing automakers who show compliance with the national program to also be deemed in compliance with state requirements. (Earlier post.) In other words, California is deeming meeting the upcoming Federal requirements for 2012-2016 as an alternate Pavley compliance path for automakers.

The 2016 endpoint of the two standards—Pavley I and the new national standard—are essentially the same, although the national standard is using an attribute-based approach (consistent with the new CAFE), while California’s standard used the older approach of two vehicle types (PC/LDT1 and LDT2) used in the LEV II regulations. The national program ramps up slightly more slowly than the California program envisioned, but does get to the same fleet average endpoint. Using the projected California fleet mix, ARB calculates the average emissions form the MY2016 new vehicle fleet will be approximately 243 g/mi (or about 36.6 mpg US).

On a conference call on Tuesday, EPA officials said they expected to release the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for the vehicle greenhouse gas regulations later this year.

Thirteen other states have adopted California’s Clean Car standards: Arizona, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

California is preserving its right to establish more stringent standards in the future. The Pavley II regulations, which start with the 2017 model year, will come to the Air Resources Board for consideration in 2010. Adapting those would require the request and issuance of another EPA waiver.



EPA may be headed for serious hard times. Including massive layoffs. This arises in part due to their becoming more of a political agency than one that serves the public openly.

Willy Bio

But CO2 is not a pollutant! Its good for the plants! CO2 IS LIFE! I'm a 'tard! :-D


I saw the CO2 fight as trying to do something when the feds would not for 8 years. IMO, it was about displacement. Arnold can have 7 Hummers with huge displacement, but there was nothing reducing the amount of trucks and SUVs sold and registered in the state that guzzled gas like mad.

The CAFE was not as tight nor updated for trucks and SUVs, so they could guzzle all they wanted and did. Something had to be done and was not. Bush just called it freedom and did not pay attention at all.


When is california going to pass the law limiting vihicle ownership to one vehicle per household. that is the only real way that they are going to make any difference. You can limit CO2 all day long but if the number cars continues to increase the net result is more CO2.

Even though CO2 is not a polutant.

How about develop a mass transit system.

Oh well, I am just keep looking for peak oil and all of this will be behind us because no one will be driving at that point.


Limiting vehicle ownership would be an attack on marriage, not on CO2!
Seriously, some families really need 2 cars whereas others don't even need one, so I don't think saying "one car fits all" is the solution

Alex Kovnat

I am against allowing states to set their own fuel economy standards.

After all, if California and other states can set their own Greenhouse standards, why stop there? Why not also allow states to establish their own domestic parts content requirements? Why not also allow states to require that all cars sold within a given state, be built in factories which are UAW union shops? Why not also allow states to impose safety standards as draconian as they want?

As in 1948 (when the big issue was civil rights), one might rightfully ask: What's more important, states rights or peoples rights?


In the relationship of California waiver, CO2 is a pollutant under the clean air act in a 2007 decision of the supreme court, therefore subject to regulatory control.

As for the the 14 in total states that have so far adopted or are planning to adopt the California standard, they represent approximately half of the US population.

Standards are the bottom rung of what should be adopted, not the top. Are we striving to make things better or just doing a halfed a'd job of things?


When they put the gas guzzler tax on cars, it became a major consideration if the person was buying a V12 BMW that got 12 mpg around town. They had to pay more up front on TOP of the high price for the car.

Light truck and SUV buyers did not have to pay that fee, even if the vehicle only got 12 mpg. A small percentage of vehicles sold were in that class back in 1990 and then the percentage increased year after year.

This was a ridiculous development that never should have occurred. A personal vehicle not used for commerce that only gets 12 mpg should be discouraged. Some where some people got the idea that it is their right to guzzle gas, create shortages and drive up prices for everyone else and call it freedom.


Please remember that the EPA's use of the Clean Air Act to regulate CO2 is only a proposal at this point. They will have to conclude an "Endangerment Finding" in order for any of the CAA and specifically Section 202 to apply.

As we have seen the EPA has significant legal problems if their finding relies substantially on IPCC reports. IPCC peer review standards to not meet the requirements of either the EPA itself or OMB quality standards. And as the IPCC's predictions of catastrophic climate change prove ever more fallacious, their AR4 contribution to EPA's proposed rule will founder.

The new Senate investigation into EPA's apparent attempts to silence global warming critic Alan Carlin, may prove to be the start of the ship's sinking.



You are right in that gas guzzling should be discouraged and it clearly will be going forward. As the taxi industry has discovered, using hybrid vehicles positively effects their bottom line. As for the regulatory process - EPA will have a legal fight ahead. And the IPCC's influence may be their biggest problem. Hence, time for this editorial:


About Carlin,

“Certain opinions were expressed by an individual [Carlin] who is not a scientist and was not part of the working group dealing with this issue,” said EPA spokesperson Adora Andy.

“Nevertheless, several of the opinions and ideas proposed by this individual were submitted to those responsible for developing the proposed endangerment finding. Additionally, his manager allowed his general views on the subject of climate change to be heard and considered inside and outside the EPA and presented at conferences and at an agency seminar. The individual was also granted a request to join a committee that organizes an ongoing climate seminar series, open to both agency and outside experts, where he has been able to invite speakers with a full range of views on climate science. The claims that his opinions were not considered or studied are entirely false.”

What Suppression?

He had a chance to express his views. That doesn't mean that personally held views get special treatment. What it means you get the ability to voice them and have them evaluated.

They were and suitably dismissed for their lack of merit.

Senator Imhofe is a joke. He unfortunately represents the idea that in politics you can fool (or at least try) some of the people all of the time. His past efforts to cripple green cars is well known and documented and bring his name up in GCC does not do you any good. For all his bluster to protect the status quo and american companies, all of them ended up in financial trouble.

He is calling for an investigation. Not that one is going to happen or is happening now. In either case, he gets to get a soap box and cry about what's happening.

Reel, googling stuff that reinforces your bias doesn't actually show intelligence. A two year old piece? Really? An opinion piece. Not only that but one in which the comments don't even agree with.


The level of peer review they got from the IPCC is vastly more than EPA could do on it’s own.

From the EPA guidelines:

“For the purposes of the Guidelines, EPA recognizes that if data and analytic results are subjected to formal, independent, external peer review, the information may generally be presumed to be of acceptable objectivity.”

, and from the technical draft:

“EPA is relying most heavily on these synthesis reports because they… 3)have been reviewed and formally accepted by, commissioned by, or in some cases authored by, U.S. government agencies and individual government scientists and provide EPA with assurances that this material has been well vetted by both the climate change research community and by the U.S. government; and 4) in many cases, they reflect and convey the consensus conclusions of expert authors.”


“In addition to its reliance on existing and primarily recent synthesis reports from the peer reviewed literature,it also underwent a technical review by federal climate change experts, internal EPA review, and interagency review.”

There is far more expertise going into the IPCC reports than the EPA can recommission on it's own and in fact the same contributors have already done so with the IPCC, so the EPA should spend more money when the IPCC reports meet their own guidelines?

If the CO2 can be considered a pollutant in the clean air act and be used to create a standard, it wouldn't make any sense that any lower control of that pollutant would be argued against. It's only a pollutant if controlled at the federal level?


"EPA is relying most heavily on these synthesis reports because they…"

"Synthesis??" As in "synthetic??" To fabricate? Create by artifice? Artificial??

syn·thet·ic (sn-thtk)
1. Relating to, involving, or of the nature of synthesis.
2. Chemistry Produced by synthesis, especially not of natural origin.
a. Not natural or genuine; artificial or contrived: "counterfeit rhetoric that flourishes when passions are synthetic".
b. Prepared or made artificially: synthetic leather. See Synonyms at artificial.

I dunno Aym. Sounds like your reports are as phony as a three dollar bill.


You try to slander it by pretending it's made up but it is peer reviewed.

Synthesis report as in the quantity of information is increasing and no one person can read it all, so that trusted non-biased peer review is used to distill the important parts so that the huge amount of information supporting AGW doesn't blow little minds up.

The synthesis that you pay attention to though, the blogs, the faux news, that isn't peer reviewed at all and like your opinions are full of falsehoods.


Oh wow... peer reviewed?? Your team is like a fickle infant - when you're fed candy you are bold, when fed meat, you pout. Yawn... for the umpteenth time aym, here's some peer reviewed science for you:

"the MWP was a climatically distinct period in the Northern Hemisphere...this conclusion is in strong contradiction to the temperature reconstruction by the IPCC, which only sees the last 100 years as a period of increased temperature during the last 2000 years."

"...a high correlation between δ18O and δ14C, that reflects the amount of radiocarbon in the upper atmosphere,[that]suggests that solar variability was a major driver of climate in Central Europe during the past 2 millennia."
Mangini, A., Spotl, C. and Verdes, P. 2005. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 235: 741-751

"millennial-scale climatic cyclicity over the last 3000 years, [that parallels] global climatic changes recorded in North Atlantic marine records (Bond et al., 1997; Bianchi and McCave, 1999; Chapman and Shackelton, 2000), [concludes that] solar radiative budget and oceanic circulation seem to be the main mechanisms forcing this cyclicity in NW Iberia."
Desprat et al, 2003, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 213: 63-78


Reel$, not impressed by comments and quotes ripped out by your masters at CO2(crappy)science. The more you post, the more you show how little your know what peer review actually means.

Did you really think you can pass off stuff willy nilly and no one can figure it out? How sad.

You don't cite your quotes. Like a con artist trying to pull something. You quote and give citations for a chain of evidence so that people can verify the logic and context of what you're saying. The stuff you rip off is biased and garbage. I've gone through the citations on some articles in CO2(crap)S, and guess what, a lot of them are plain wrong. What, you can't think?

It's a nice try but you're transparant in your attempts to demonstrate some orginality and intellegence. Always were.

Now instead of searching for stuff to prop up your bias and your weak arguements, try looking at some real academic work and real academic sites.


Collapsing into ad hom and denial of "peer reviewed" papers. Now you've been shown the one thing you insist is your gaia grail, "peer reviewed science." But you have no rebuttal. No counter to the "peer reviewed" papers you hold so desperate and dear. Cognitive Dissonance. Get therapy.

Then you might learn a lot from the Idsos. They are good academics and have documented hundreds of "peer reviewed" papers - especially in their NIPCC Report. You read that and cogitate on it - I might slum around at Reel Climate.

Meanwhile the AGW boat has sunk and the energy independence train has left without you.


Pardon but peer reviewed is hardly it. Your speaking points are taken straight out of CO2(crap) and you can't deny it.

Your lack of original thought is transparent when you can simply search your paragraphs and tell where they came from. You are simply are a mouthpiece for non peer reviewed science sites.

As for the paper, peer review citation is only the first level, the others is if it passes. Just because it is used doesn't mean it's relevant. And considering the thousands of peer reviewed studies that support AGW, your studies are frankly out of date and superceded.

The NIPCC report is hardly peer reviewed except by the authors. A poor effort at best. The same tired contrarians trying to show the same thing for the last 10-20 years and getting what they deserve. Nothing. Deserving to be sent to the landfill. Sent to deniers by deniers as some sort of scientific proof but not cited by one peer evaluated paper. Reviewed as dismissed as irrelevant by the scientific community at large.

AGW sunk? Hardly. People and gov'ts all over the world are putting money and planning to combat the rise of GHG and their consequences and this site is full of these stories which you very well know because you try to undermine every story. Unsuccessfully, i might add.

Idsos has good academics? Try to sourcewatch the people. Name a peer reviewed study that used any of the site's work. As I have written, I've been to the site and found that many of the citations are misused. Misused studies to shore up poor arguements and poorer theories. None of them has released any modern peer reviewed studies on GW. They couldn't touch RealClimate just like you can't touch what's real - reel$$.


Actually, I read that NIPCC report and was shocked when I investigated their stated references. The sources actually explicitly contradict what they were saying in the NIPCC report. I guess if only 10% of the readers of the NIPCC reports follow up on the sources then that's still a success for the report, eh. They've still convinced the other 90% who don't.


"They've still convinced the other 90%..."

TRUTH always will!

Have a nice day!

TRUTH always will!

But as I just pointed out, they were printing lies in the report that contradicted the very references they were citing. How is that truth? Are you a paid denialist, or are you a religious quack?

What is the significance of the graph you referenced? How does it support your assertion that reports which make statements that are in complete contradiction with their very own sources somehow constitutes the truth?


Here's a site to teach you something

From a real news station that doesn't cater like faux news does.


Leave Reel alone! If he doesn't want to do science, so be it. People on this site have tried - and failed - several times to convince him to be as critic of the papers he gives us links for as of AGW. If he doesn't want to listen, just let him be. You're wasting time, patience and intellectual effort for nothing...

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