Brown Calls Upon U.S. EPA to Resist Global Warming Stall Tactic
SACRAMENTO - Calling global warming a profound threat to our nation's long-term security, Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to resist President Bush's 'dangerous strategy for endless stonewalling' and permit California and 11 other states to curb vehicle greenhouse gas emissions.
Wednesday's U.S. EPA hearing in Sacramento marks the second and last public hearing on landmark regulations requiring automakers to reduce vehicle greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2016. California and the states need the U.S. EPA's permission to implement the rules, which California first adopted in 2002.
Under the Clean Air Act, California can adopt standards stricter than federal rules by requesting a waiver from EPA. Approval of Californiaâ s waiver means the other states would get approval automatically. 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.
The 11 other states are Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.
The Bush administration has long opposed any targets aimed at reducing greenhouse gases and is expected to oppose a consensus greenhouse gas reduction proposal at next week's G-8 summit which brings together the leaders of German, the United States, Russia, Britain, France, Italy, Canada and Japan.
President Bush, during an impromptu May 14 press conference in the Rose Garden, directed four federal agencies to spend the next 18 months discussing climate change. 'This Rose Garden proposal was nothing more than a stall tactic and a dangerous strategy for endless stonewalling,' Brown said. Bush's comments in the Rose Garden were made on the same day that Justice Department lawyers were in a San Francisco federal courtroom fighting charges that the Bush administration adopted legally insufficient fuel efficiency standard for SUVs, pickups and minivans.
Scientific evidence continues to buttress California's claim for a waiver under the Clean Air Act. Last week, the National Academy of Sciences reported a sharp increase in the rate of man-made carbon dioxide. The rate of increase is much greater than previously estimated by the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The harm from global warming includes rising sea levels, eroding beaches, increasing drought and damage to California's system of levees. Brown noted that California is particularly vulnerable to the effects of global warming because of its 1,000 mile coastline.
Audio from the testimony is attached.