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Friday, 25 April 2008 04:33

California Rejects Fed’s Environmental Proposal

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slide17.jpgGovernor Arnold Schwarzenegger's top air pollution regulator yesterday denounced the federal government's proposal to demand higher fuel efficiency in new cars because a 24-word passage written into the Bush administration's 417-page plan would block California's aggressive efforts to enact its own emissions standards. "The reality of what is now being proposed by the federal government is that there is an effort under way once again to prevent any state, and particularly California, from exercising our sovereign right to control emissions of air pollutants into the environment." said Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board. Nichols and the advocates at first cheered the proposal - until they came across page 378, which says that states cannot set their own standards.

The latest attempt by the federal government to pre-empt California from enforcing its own laws to combat global warming was seen as another slap at the Schwarzenegger administration, which is dueling with the Bush administration over the state's authority to regulate tailpipe emissions. The proposed regulation, which resulted from a federal energy bill signed by President Bush in December, promises to curtail carbon dioxide emissions from cars and light trucks and reduce America's reliance on foreign oil. California sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in January after it rejected the state's 2005 request for a rule waiver to enact its own tailpipe emissions standards. Nineteen other states had agreed to adopt California's standards if had the EPA approved the waiver. Many of those states joined California in its lawsuit. If the proposed rule announced this week goes into effect, Nichols said, the state would file another lawsuit.

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