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Brown Praises EPA's Preliminary Determination that Greenhouse Gases Endanger Public Health or Welfare

Friday, April 17, 2009
Contact: (415) 703-5837

SACRAMENTO – Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today commended the Environmental Protection Agency for taking the federal government’s “first concrete step toward curbing global warming” by issuing a proposed determination that greenhouse gases endanger public health or welfare.

“After years of inexcusable neglect under the Bush Administration, the EPA has taken the first concrete step toward curbing global warming by making a preliminary determination that greenhouse gases endanger public health or welfare.” Attorney General Brown said. “This proposed endangerment determination opens the door to the first serious national effort to reduce greenhouse gases.”

This proposed determination stems from the Supreme Court’s decision in Massachusetts v. EPA -- a case in which California was a lead plaintiff -- which required EPA to determine whether the greenhouse gas emissions that lead to global warming “may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare.”
The Bush Administration refused to comply with the court’s order to make such a determination.

Brown has made combating global warming a major priority of the Attorney General’s office. He has:
• Requested the EPA requesting to curb greenhouse gases from ocean-going vessels, aircraft, and non-road vehicles;

• Urged the EPA to regulate emissions from power plants and other large polluting sources;

• Sued the Department of Energy for failing to require updated efficiency standards for appliances and other equipment;

• Sued the Fish and Wildlife Service for allowing federal projects to be approved without considering the effects of greenhouse gas emissions on endangered species; and

• Defended California's new motor vehicle greenhouse gas regulations from challenge by the automobile industry.

In California, Attorney General Brown has reached path-breaking settlements with San Bernardino County and the City of Stockton requiring them to adopt Climate Action Plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and has filed over 40 comments letters on local land-use projects under the California Environmental Quality Act.

More information on Attorney General Brown’s efforts to combat global warming can be found at http://ag.ca.gov/globalwarming/.

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