California sued EPA over auto emissions waiver denial

On January 2, 2008, California filed a lawsuit against the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) challenging the agency's decision to deny the state's request for a waiver that would have allowed it and 16 other states to impose stricter greenhouse gas emissions standards on cars and light trucks. California's Air Resources Board adopted strict greenhouse gas standards in 2004, but it could not mandate them unless the EPA granted a waiver of the more lenient federal Clean Air Act (CAA) [PDF] standards. In February 2008, the EPA issued their official explanation for the rejection and in May 2008 the US House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform found that the White House played a "significant role" in the agency's decision. The US Senate Environment and Public Works Committee voted 10-9 to overturn the EPA's decision on May 22, 2008.

Learn more about the Clean Air Act and the EPA from the JURIST news archive and read commentary on the issue from JURIST Guest Columnist Howard Learner in Hotline.

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