Attorney General Brown Criticizes Covert Attack On Landmark Greenhouse Gas Law

Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

SACRAMENTO - Charging that the auto industry is working to “sabotage California's landmark greenhouse gas law,” California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today attacked a proposed energy bill amendment and called upon the House to reject any effort to block state authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

Attorney General Brown joined 13 states and the City of New York in sending a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, voicing strong opposition to “troublesome language that may be used to eliminate existing Clean Air Act authority to address global warming, including California's landmark greenhouse gas emissions standards.”

In a statement explaining why he opposes the Hill-Terry Amendment, commonly referred to as H.R. 2927, Brown said: “California could be crippled by this brazen attempt to pre-empt our state emissions standards. The auto industry is working to sabotage California’s landmark greenhouse gas law.”

Under the Clean Air Act, California can adopt standards stricter than federal rules by requesting a waiver from EPA. Congress expressly allowed California to impose stricter environmental regulations in recognition of the state's “compelling and extraordinary conditions,” including topography, climate, high number and concentration of vehicles and its pioneering role in vehicle emissions regulation.

In the letter, the Attorney General points out that “while providing only modest increases in federal fuel economy standards, the bill includes language that has the potential to disrupt the statutory framework for controlling carbon dioxide emissions that was endorsed by the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Brown supports the Markey-Platts proposed amendment which sets aggressive but technologically feasible fuel economy standards that promote energy independence and advanced automobile technologies. Brown said that unless the Hill-Terry Amendment explicitly defends the right of California and other states to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, the Speaker should block its consideration and the House should vote to defeat it.

A vote on amendments to the bill is expected this Friday. The letter from Attorney General Brown to the Honorable Nancy Pelosi is attached.

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