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Environmental Protection & Preservation

California to Sue EPA for Clean Car Waiver

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will announce today that California is suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a waiver allowing California to implement its landmark 2002 law reducing vehicle global warming pollution.

California is the only state allowed under federal law to set air pollution standards higher than those imposed by the federal government. Other states have the authority to follow California's lead. To date, 11 other states have adopted California's standards.

California's standard requires a 34 percent reduction in global warming pollution for cars and light trucks, and a 25 percent reduction for larger trucks and SUVs, within the next 10 years. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), automakers have the technology today to build vehicles that can surpass the standard. Earlier this year, UCS unveiled a minivan design that uses non-hybrid technology already available in today's vehicles to reduce global warning pollution by more than 40 percent and save consumers thousands of dollars over the life of the vehicle in lower operating costs.

Below is a statement by Patricia Monahan, deputy director of the UCS Clean Vehicles program:

"The EPA has been stalling for two years, while a line of traffic is piling up behind it. It's time for the agency to pull over, and let the dozen states that want to clean up cars drive on.

"If the EPA grants California the waiver, the states that have adopted the standard would be able to cut hundreds of millions of metric tons of global warming pollution by 2020.

"The Union of Concerned Scientists has shown that automakers can easily meet these new state standards using conventional, off-the-shelf technology. That would protect both the environment and our pocketbooks, saving us billions of dollars at the pump."

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