DEC. 19, 2007 - PRESIDENT

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Tonight the Environmental Protection Agency denied California--and therefore Massachusetts and more than a dozen other states--a waiver to regulate global warming pollution from vehicles.

Below is the statement of Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming:

“Just hours after signing Congress’ fuel economy bill as a holiday present to America, the president replaced that goodwill with a big lump of coal by denying California, Massachusetts and other states their right to limit global warming pollution from vehicles.

“To say that states don’t have a ‘compelling reason’ to regulate global warming ignores the Supreme Court, it ignores the climate crisis we all face, and it ignores the rights of states to decide how aggressive they want to be on pollution control. “It should not be surprising that this Administration would find that it is ‘not compelling’ to protect this nation from the looming catastrophe of climate change. In fact, it is one more piece of evidence that the administration is not prepared to protect the public when it comes to the emission of greenhouse gases.

“Congress has made clear that California has the authority under the Clean Air Act to go beyond national federal standards for cars in light of its special clean air needs. After objecting loudly to a national standard for renewable electricity because it preferred a state-by-state approach, now the administration is saying a state standard for cars is wrong and would be trumped by national law.

“These aggressive standards would not be patchwork, as more than a dozen states, and now Canada, are looking to follow California and cut global warming emissions would represent a significant percentage of the North American auto sector.

“This country has benefited time and again from allowing the states to go beyond minimum federal standards. Denying this waiver says that in the case of automobiles, the states are stuck in first gear. It is not forward looking, it is not protective of the public health, and it a sad retreat on the progress that Congress is trying to make with the passage of the energy bill this week.”

December 19, 2007

CONTACT: Jessica Schafer, 202.225.2836
Eben Burnham-Snyder (Select Committee), 202.225.4081