Attorney General Lockyer Issues Statement On Lawsuit Challenging Bush Administration Refusal To Regulate Global Warming Pollution

Friday, April 8, 2005
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

(SACRAMENTO) - Attorney General Bill Lockyer today issued the following statement regarding oral arguments in the court challenge of the Bush Administration's decision to not regulate vehicle greenhouse gas emissions that pollute the air and contribute to global warming.

"The U.S. EPA's decision that it has no authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, and that these emissions technically don't even count as air pollutants, is wrong, disturbing and dangerous to Californians' health, environment and economy.

"The EPA mistakenly relies on previous court rulings that held the FDA could not regulate tobacco because it would conflict with laws that presume the availability of tobacco. The case of regulating vehicle emissions that contribute to global warming is different. If it regulated such emissions, the EPA would not have to ban any products that Congress wanted to remain in the marketplace, or come into conflict with other federal laws.

"This issue is vital to the future of our state. It affects important resources like our rich agricultural lands, Sierra snow pack, the safety of our forests and our seaside communities. California has worked collaboratively with Washington whenever possible, but we must be willing to confront the federal government when it is mistaken, as it is in this case.

"The Bush Administration's Alice-in-Wonderland view of the Clean Air Act cannot be allowed to stand. At its core, despite consensus science to the contrary, is the view that more study needs to be done before taking corrective action. I don't have a problem with gathering more empirical evidence. But we've done enough study to know that we need to take concrete steps, now, to address this serious threat to our environment, economy and health."

Attorney General Lockyer is joined by 11 other Attorneys General, two cities and major environmental groups in the lawsuit, which was filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. on October 23, 2003.

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