Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

State Sues EPA Over Tailpipe Emission Standards

California is suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for denying its first-in-the-nation greenhouse gas limits on cars, trucks and SUVs. KPBS Environmental Reporter Ed Joyce has details.

State Sues EPA Over Tailpipe Emission Standards

California is suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for denying its first-in-the-nation greenhouse gas limits on cars, trucks and SUVs. KPBS Environmental Reporter Ed Joyce has details.

Advertisement

The state is suing because EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson denied California a waiver that it needs under the federal Clean Air Act to move forward with regulating greenhouse gas emissions from new cars and trucks.

State Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols.

Nichols: I think Administrator Johnson rushed out to get his answer to us but he didn't have adequate backing for it. We'll be interested to see what kind of technical of a analysis EPA is able to produce to justify the decision because we've seen nothing yet other than the brief letter that was sent to the governor right before the Christmas break.

EPA Administrator Johnson says the federal government was moving forward with a national solution and dismissed California's arguments that it faced unique threats from climate change. But Nichols challenged the Bush administration's conclusion that states have no business setting emission standards. 

Advertisement

Nichols: We obviously believe that we are on very strong legal ground here, but we also believe that we're on very strong scientific and technical ground because over the holidays the Air Resources Board technical staff has been hard at work.

She says the staff has prepared a scientific analysis to support the request to impose tougher tailpipe emission standards than federal standards. At least 16 other states had been expected to follow California's lead and adopt the state's emission limits. Ed Joyce, KPBS News.

Explore all national, state and local returns now.