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CA and Environmentalists Deliver One-Two Punch Over EPA Emissions Ruling

January 3, 2008

Los Angeles, CA - California and five environmental groups are suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for refusing to allow the state to limit the amount of vehicle emissions that contribute to global warming. The lawsuit, filed in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, challenges the federal government's blocking of California’s attempt to enact landmark emissions standards. California Attorney General Jerry Brown is calling for federal investigations into E.P.A. administrator Stephen Johnson's decision.

"Not only are we going to fight in court, but we’re going to fight in Congress. I want the House and Senate to investigate this man. This is really a scandal."

California's law was scheduled to take effect beginning with the 2009 models and required a fleet-wide emissions reduction of 30 percent by 2016. E.P.A. officials argue the recently passed federal energy bill is sufficient and that a national strategy is better than a state-by-state approach.

David Bookbinder, Chief Climate Counsel with the Sierra Club, says the E.P.A. has allowed states to set their own emissions rules historically and that this lawsuit is one way to get their attention.

"We need to actually begin doing something and the only way we seem to make progress with this administration is going upside their head in federal court."

More information is available at the Sierra Club website at www.sierra.org.

Lori Abbott/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - CA