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US House bill introduced to overturn EPA California emissions waiver denial

[JURIST] A bill [HR 5560 materials] that would overturn a decision by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to deny a greenhouse emissions waiver [rejection letter, PDF; JURIST report] to California was introduced in the US House of Representatives [official website] Thursday. The bill, which would allow states to introduce higher greenhouse emissions standards than those mandated by federal law, would immediately grant California's waiver request and clear the way for 12 other interested states to impose higher emissions standards. A similar bill has already been introduced in the Senate. Reuters has more.

In December 2007, the EPA denied California's waiver request, with EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson saying that a unified national standard for greenhouse gas regulation was preferable to a state-by-state network of regulations and pointing to the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 [HR 6 materials; WH fact sheet], signed into law that month by President George W. Bush. California filed suit [JURIST report] in January to challenge the denial. Last month, the EPA issued an official explanation [JURIST report] of its decision to deny California's waiver request. Also last month, internal EPA documents [press release and excerpts] revealed that agents with the EPA urged Johnson to approve the waiver request [JURIST report].

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