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Groups Ask Court to Remove EPA Roadblock to Clean Cars in Colorado

January 3, 2008

Denver, CO - There's a loud chorus calling for the federal government to stop "blocking the road" to cleaner cars. A number of states and environmental groups are taking legal action against the E.P.A. over last month's denial of a waiver that would have allowed California to set emissions standards for greenhouse gases. Sierra Club Climate Counsel David Bookbinder is upset over the federal government's decision.

"The Bush administration over the last seven years has repeatedly refused to regulate greenhouse gases from cars or any other source."

Bookbinder explains any increased costs that might come from the state 'Clean Cars' programs would be offset by the benefits to air quality.

"The small increase in the cost of the car will be offset as a result of savings realized through the increased fuel efficiency of these vehicles."

E.P.A. officials argue the state programs would create a 'confusing patchwork of rules,' and that recently passed federal fuel-efficiency standards are sufficient to cut greenhouse emissions. Bookbinder is optimistic the organizations rallying against the current policy will see success.

"Right now, we're 4 and 0 against the administration and the auto industry in the last year on these sorts of cases. We're looking to go 5 and 0."

Bookbinder explains the E.P.A. previously routinely allowed states to set their own emissions rules. Governor Ritter has stated he hopes to establish clean car standards for Colorado.

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

Eric Mack/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - CO