For Immediate Release, September 11, 2009
Contact: Kassie Siegel, Center for Biological Diversity, (760) 366-2232, x. 302
Center for Biological Diversity Statement On Chamber of Commerce and National Automobile Dealers
Association Lawsuit to Block Greenhouse Gas Emissions Limits for Cars and Trucks
SAN FRANCISCO— The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Automobile Dealers Association sued the Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday to once again try to block California from implementing its own, stronger-than-national greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars and trucks. The EPA issued a waiver to California under the Clean Air Act in May after an announcement by the Obama administration that it would adopt uniform federal standards to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and increase fuel economy for model years 2011-2016 cars and trucks.
While a waiver is not necessary for implementation of the federal standards through 2016, it affirmed California’s long-recognized right to enact pollution controls stronger than the national standards. These standards can then be adopted by other states; 14 states had adopted California’s greenhouse gas standards. Issuance of the waiver ended two years of litigation brought by the affected states and by environmental groups, including the Center for Biological Diversity, to compel the EPA to grant the waiver. Under the Bush administration, the EPA had denied the waiver even though California met all the statutory requirements for its issuance, and even though no California waiver request had been denied in four decades.
“The Obama administration’s decision to issue the waiver was not only legally correct, but plain common sense,” said Kassie Siegel, director of the Climate Law Institute at the Center. “This lawsuit has little chance of success and does a great disservice to the business members that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Automobile Dealers Association supposedly represent. Reduction of greenhouse emissions from the U.S. auto fleet is critical to our efforts to combat global warming and good for the economy.”