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California Officials Lean on EPA to Allow Stricter Emissions Laws

California lawmakers are pressuring the Environmental Protection Agency to allow the state to enact its own stricter emissions standards. The head of the EPA gave an update today on the progress of Ca

California Officials Lean on EPA to Allow Stricter Emissions Laws

California lawmakers are pressuring the Environmental Protection Agency to allow the state to enact its own stricter emissions standards. The head of the EPA gave an update today on the progress of California's waiver application. Evelyn Lombardo reports from Capitol Hill.

California wants to cut carbon emissions from cars by about 25 percent, and from SUVs by about 18 percent starting in 2009. But it needs the approval of the EPA first. California applied to the EPA over a year-and-a-half ago.

Senator Barbara Boxer says the agency's so-called deliberation process is really partisan stalling.

Boxer : I believe this administration has already decided they don't want to grant this waiver, and the only way you can disprove that is to grant it.

But EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson says the agency is reviewing thousands of comments from industry leaders and environmental groups.

From Washington, I'm Evelyn Lombardo for KPBS Radio.