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Sanders welcomes new initiative on global warming

MONTPELIER - Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) recently applauded President Barack Obama for ordering the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider letting Vermont and other states set strong automobile emission and fuel efficiency standards.

In a ceremony at the White House, Obama signed an executive order expected to pave the way for states that want to do more to fight global warming by cutting carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles.

"I am glad President Obama is moving us in the right direction," said Sanders, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. "There is little time to spare because for far too long the Bush administration sided with polluters and failed to get out of the way of states that want to help the environment. Now, I expect the EPA to let states like Vermont take the strong measures necessary to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

In a letter last Dec. 5, Sanders and other senators urged Obama to reverse a decision by the Bush administration and grant a waiver to allow Vermont, California and other states to do more than federal standards require.

The letter asserted that the waiver "will not by itself solve the challenge of global warming. But by moving quickly to assure that EPA reconsiders California's waiver request, you have the opportunity to begin reducing global warming pollution, to move the nation away from our dependence on imported oil, and to restore American leadership on the issue of global warming."

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