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NY Supporting Court Action Aimed at Cutting Tailpipe Emissions

January 3, 2008

New York, NY - New York is stepping up to the plate in the campaign to allow states to set their own auto emission standards, stiffer than federal norms.

The state Wednesday joined a motion of support for a lawsuit filed the same day by California and environmental groups. The suit seeks to force the Environmental Protection Agency to allow states to impose stricter levels for tailpipe emissions, which are seen as a key factor in global warming.

California started the campaign in 2007 with new standards that would reduce global warming emissions from vehicles by 30 percent by the year 2016. The EPA blocked the new California standards from going into effect, and that's why Sierra Club climate change attorney David Bookbinder say they ended up in court.

"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."

EPA officials say allowing states to implement their own programs would create a confusing patchwork of rules, and they say recently-passed federal standards will cut greenhouse emissions.

At the New York City field office of the Sierra Club, Bob Muldoon says there is a good reason New York is supporting the lawsuit.

"The EPA's ruling doesn't just impact California; New York state is ready to adopt California emissions standards because they require cars to be cleaner and more fuel-efficient."

Bookbinder says the states have to tackle the issue, because the federal government has been reluctant to do so.

"Automobiles are the second largest source of greenhouse gases in the United States; the Bush administration has repeatedly, over the last seven years, refused to regulate greenhouse gases from cars, or any other source."

Michael Clifford/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - NY