Issue Date: September 10, 2007
California has Strong Case on CO2
California has made "a strong case" for getting permission from EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from new cars, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) has concluded. California has been waiting since December 2005 for EPA to decide whether to give the state the authority to limit greenhouse gas emissions from new vehicles. If EPA grants the request, 11 more states are poised to follow California's lead. In an analysis completed in late August, CRS determined that California has solid legal arguments for earning EPA's approval under the Clean Air Act for the new-vehicle emission standards. CRS noted, however, that it did not study provisions of a law that EPA does not administer, the 1975 Energy Policy & Conservation Act, that could preclude California from implementing the greenhouse gas regulation. Automakers argue that California's plan is simply a method for regulating vehicles' fuel economy, which, under the 1975 law, is a job reserved solely for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, according to CRS.
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