January 26, 2009
Inhofe Response to Obama Administration Action on California Waiver
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, commented today on the Obama Administration’s directive to have EPA revaluate it’s denial of proposed California greenhouse gas tailpipe regulation to control air quality emissions for motor vehicles.
“It’s unfortunate that the administration believes a patchwork of state regulations is better than a single national fuel economy standard. This is a crippling mandate for the ailing auto industry,” Senator Inhofe said. “Why attempt to bail out the auto industry on one hand and on the other mandate regulations that will further raise costs and result in more job losses in the industry?
“The potential granting of this waiver could authorize an untested, state-by-state regulatory program that could undermine the national CAFE standard, thus creating a patchwork of regulatory compliance obligations that would provide marginal, if any, benefit from a greenhouse gas reduction standpoint, but would tremendously increase costs and burdens on interstate commerce and on the automobile industry. It is a political exercise that attempts to address a global issue with a statewide solution that undermines a carefully crafted and newly revised national fuel economy standard.”
Generally, the Clean Air Act (CAA) establishes a uniform, federal standard for the regulation of emissions from motor vehicles. Section 209 of the CAA does allow California to adopt and enforce air quality emission standards for new motor vehicles in certain limited circumstances; however, all of the waiver requests EPA has received from California in the past refer to smog or to closely related pollution problems that had specific localized effects within the state.
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