Boxer, Leahy want EPA chief to explain California global warming waiver

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line staff writer | 7/21/2008

Two U.S. senators are calling for the head of the EPA to explain why the agency denied California’s request to enforce the nation’s first car and light truck emissions restrictions based upon global warming.

Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-CA, and Patrick Leahy, D-VT, requested sworn testimony from Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen Johnson regarding the EPA’s refusal to provide Congress with documents related to public health risks associated with global warming.

More than 12 states have adopted the greenhouse gas emissions standard for cars and light trucks, and others have pending legislation.

California is given more leeway to create restrictive emissions standards than most states under the Clean Air Act, though the EPA must grant the state specific waivers to enforce new regulations.

The EPA granted California more than 50 such waivers during the past few decades, before Johnson denied California’s request in December.

With a new presidential administration set to arrive in January with new political appointees at the EPA and other agencies, it’s difficult to say whether the repeated calls for EPA testimony will make more than headlines, said Mike Joyce, OOIDA’s director of government affairs at the Association’s Washington, DC, office.

“It doesn’t appear the Bush Administration is going to change course on this one,” Joyce said.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer

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