Issue Date: January 7, 2008
California Sues Over Auto Emissions Decision
California last week launched a federal court challenge to the Bush Administration's controversial decision against the state's greenhouse gas emission standard for new vehicles. California waited two years for EPA to decide whether to allow the state to regulate greenhouse gas releases from new cars and trucks. Hours after President George W. Bush signed energy legislation on Dec. 19, 2007, EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson announced that the new law, which mandates an increase in vehicles' fuel economy nationwide, overrode the need for California's plan. Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board, says the plan EPA rejected would cut an estimated 17.2 million metric tons per year of CO2 from vehicles in the state by 2016, while the new federal law would cut only 7.7 million metric tons from California cars. By 2020, she says, the California plan would curb 33.4 million metric tons of CO2 annually, while the national effort would trim only 18.9 million metric tons. Nichols says the results are even more dramatic—a reduction of 59 million metric tons of CO2 by 2020—when the calculations include 12 states that already adopted California's tailpipe standard and were poised to implement it if EPA had approved it.
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