Douglas challenges EPA

Gov. Jim Douglas said last week that the Environmental Protection Agencys (EPA) so-called justification for denying a waiver to allow Vermont and more than a dozen other states to enforce Californias tough auto emissions standards was irresponsible and ignored the hard facts of climate change science. The administrator repeats the argument that California doesnt have compelling and extraordinary circumstances relative to global warming, but this contradicts the administrators own staff findings as revealed by congressional investigations, Douglas said. Here in Vermont, auto emissions are responsible for almost half of our carbon footprint. The EPAs rationale is an assault on states rights and another example of Washington leaving the states to clean up its mess. Vermont claims to be the greenest state in the nation by many measuresnotably, the states zero greenhouse gas- emission lone atomic power plant helps with lower greenhouse gas and air pollution levels, especially when compared to other states with fossil-fuel power plants. Because it is a rural state, Vermont residents rely largely on personal vehicles for work and family activities. Thats why tougher tailpipe standards are a substantial way it can reduce greenhouse has emissions, the governor said. Vermont joined California in its appeal of the waiver denial, arguing that the California standards would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 79 percent more than the newlyand belatedlyones called for by the Bush administration. At the invitation of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Gov. Douglas also testified before the U.S. Senate in January on the EPA decision. Douglas reiterated his comments before Congress, saying that the EPA denial was faulty and factually incorrect. Documents explaining the rationale for EPA's decision to deny California's waiver request for its greenhouse gas standards for motor vehicles are currently available on EPA's Web site. The documents will soon be published in the Federal Register. Pre-publication copies of the documents and related information are at: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/ca-waiver.htm .

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