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Schwarzenegger applauds EPA decision on California's gas emissions waiver
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08:59, July 01, 2009

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California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on Tuesday lauded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) decision to grant California a waiver to implement its greenhouse gas emissions standards.

"After being asleep at the wheel for over two decades, the federal government has finally stepped up and granted California its nation-leading tailpipe emissions waiver," the governor said in a statement.

"This decision is a huge step for our emerging green economy that will create thousands of new jobs and bring Californians the cars they want while reducing greenhouse gas emissions."

California's long battle to reduce pollution from passenger vehicles is over, and a greener, cleaner future has finally arrived, he noted.

The EPA announced earlier in the day that it is granting California's request to impose tough restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks -- reversing the Bush administration's position and opening the way for the state to take the lead on global warming policy.

Under the EPA's decision, California can develop its own standards on greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks, though it agrees not to toughen the standards before 2017. Automakers agree to drop lawsuits.

EPA officials say granting California the waiver from federal standards gives the state wide latitude to promulgate stricter rules, restoring a 40-year interpretation of the Clean Air Act.

The Schwarzenegger Administration first requested a waiver of preemption from the EPA on Dec. 21, 2005. California is the only state under the Federal Clean Air Act, with the unique ability to set stricter-than-federal standards for vehicles, as long as it gets a waiver from the federal government.

California developed its own standards in 2004 but was barred from implementing them.

Once California receives a waiver from the federal government, then other states can choose to adopt California's cleaner standards.

Thirteen other states and the District of Columbia have adopted California's clean car standards.

Source: Xinhua



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