President Obama has issued an order to the EPA to determine if states may restrict automobile emissions, reversing a long and legal tug of war between the states and the former Bush Administration.
WASHINGTON - Plunging into energy and climate change policies, President Barack Obama on Monday moved to give states a freer hand in curbing greenhouse gas emissions from cars, and to enact tighter fuel-efficiency standards that could remake the auto industry.
Obama stressed that his goal is to work with carmakers on key administration goals: energy independence and combating global warming.
"Let me be clear: Our goal is not to further burden an already struggling industry," Obama said at the White House. "It is to help America's automakers prepare for the future."
Eighteen states, two cities and ten environmental groups filed suit Wednesday against the EPA's refusal to issue a decision on emissions regulation. The filing asks the federal court to compel the EPA to act within 60 days, at which time, further action may be taken.
This is another in a string of lawsuits that have been filed by various states to attempt to compel the EPA to take a position on greenhouse gas emissions, after the EPA's refusal to do so prevented California (and the other states that would use California's regulation as a standard) from lowering their own limit in a state regulation.
The plaintiffs include: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, the District of Columbia, the city of New York, the city of Baltimore, the Sierra Club and nine other environmental groups.
The EPA has also received a subpoena from Congress to turn over their correspondence and other paperwork after reports came to light that President Bush had personally intervened on the decision to lower a key greenhouse gas regulation.
There are many more such policies to put in place and/or to undo, but this impending action by President Obama is a significant step forward in reversing the damage of the Bush years.
More on this topic at THE ENVIRONMENTALIST
Previous reporting on this issue:
EPA sued (again) by 18 states over greenhouse gas emission standards
President Bush Intervenes on EPA Smog Ruling
E.P.A. Denies California's Emissions Waiver
EPA sued over Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Vermont Legal Victory over Auto Pollution