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Obama’s Actions Please Environmentalists and Governor

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

Governor Schwarzenegger and environmental groups are hailing a move by President Obama Monday. Mister Obama wants the US Environmental Protection Agency to re-consider California's request to uphold tougher restrictions on auto emissions. Jenny O'Mara reports.

Bernadette Del Chiaro with the group Environment California says she expects the review process for California's waiver could take up to six months.

Governor Schwarzenegger called it "great news".

Schwarzenegger: "The President's action is a great victory for California and also for clean air around the nation and for generations to come…"

Back in 2002, California passed a law requiring automakers to limit greenhouse gas emissions. It set higher standards for auto emissions and fuel efficiency. But the state needs federal approval-in the form of a waiver-- to enforce that. In 2007 regulators denied California's request, and Schwarzenegger sued.

Bernadette Del Chiaro with the group "Environment California" praised the Obama Administration's move. She expects California's request to be granted-and that will pave the way for other states.

Del Chiaro: "We've already seen 13 other states plus Washington D-C adopt California's standards. So as soon as the Obama Administration grants California its waiver, that waiver will apply to all of those other states. That accounts for over 40-percent of the U-S auto market."

Car makers have long raised concerns that granting the waiver will create a state-by-state patchwork of regulations. In a statement reacting to the President's announcement, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers urged a national approach to the issue.

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