California Sues US For Right to Cut Car Emissions

The state of California sued the Environmental Protection Agency over the state’s right to limit car emissions within its borders.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said: “California is ready to implement the nation’s cleanest standards for vehicle emissions, but we cannot do that until the federal government grants a waiver allowing us to enforce those standards.”

California has been threatening the suit since 2005, when it enacted a law requiring stricter emissions standards than the federal government on cars sold in California beginning with the model year 2009. The state requires a waiver from the government to impose standards stricter than the national standard. Schwarzenegger has threatened to sue until the measure is successful should the waiver be denied.

The Governor said 14 other states planned to join the lawsuit in the near future. California has been a leader on climate change initiatives in the US. Last year the state passed measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020.

The EPA has said it will make a decision on the matter by the end of the year. Jennifer Wood, a spokesperson for the agency, accused California of using the ruling for publicity. Wood said: “We’re less than two months away and clearly California is more interested in getting a good headline than in giving us the time to make a good decision.”

The lawsuit is facing opposition from some parties. US car manufacturers are fighting the suit tooth and nail.

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