Press Release
For Immediate Release
January 2, 2008
 
Contact: Robyn Ziegler
312-814-3118
rziegler@atg.state.il.us
 

MADIGAN JOINS LAWSUIT FOR STATES' RIGHTS TO REGULATE AUTOMOBILE EMISSIONS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO GLOBAL WARMING

Coalition Files Suit against the EPA over Denial of California Emissions Standards

Chicago - Attorney General Lisa Madigan and 14 other states today filed a petition to intervene in a federal lawsuit brought by California against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Illinois and the other states filed the petition in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco seeking to reverse a recent EPA decision and uphold the right of states to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles.

The federal Clean Air Act grants California the power to enact its own pollution standards for automobile emissions, but requires that California receive a waiver from the EPA before it can apply tougher standards. If a waiver is granted by EPA for California , then other states will be free to adopt those standards for their own state without any additional approval by EPA.

On December 19, 2007, the EPA denied California 's request for a waiver, preventing California and all other states from implementing tougher standards to reduce tailpipe emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants that contribute to global warming. Today's petition to intervene seeks to reverse the EPA decision.

“The U.S. EPA's shortsighted decision greatly diminishes the states' ability to take effective action to reduce pollution and, as a result, limits our efforts to protect our states from the negative impacts of global warming,” Madigan said.

California 's standards, adopted in August 2005, would reduce emissions of greenhouse gases from cars by 30 percent by 2016. At least 17 other states have either adopted or planned to adopt the California standards. Madigan said state officials have been studying the California standards for possible adoption in Illinois.

Joining Illinois in the petition to intervene in California's suit are Massachusetts, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Gerald Karr is handling the matter for Madigan's Environmental Bureau.

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