Brown Calls Upon U.S. EPA to Resist Global Warming Stall Tactic


That cannot be stopped by EPCA. The fact that fuel efficiency is a byproduct or a a consequence does not negate the authority under the Clean Air Act. Under EPCA there is a balancing and EPCA can be fully realized and implemented by weighing and balancing many factors, one of which is the Clean Air Act standards themselves. So the Supreme Court itself and the text bothcall for a harmonization and giving full effect to the Clean Air Act. And in this case California has its own piece ofthat Clean Air Act under the law.Now the second point I want to talk about is the waiver itself. Expressly in legislative history the word is narrow grounds for EPA to deny the waiver. It has to bevery extraordinary. There has been talk about, are therereally compelling and extraordinary conditions. The autocompanies want to say, well, California is no different than the rest of the country, of the world.

That issue has already been decided. The fact that similar conditions exist elsewhere does not negate California’s authority underthe law. If you go back to the legislative history I thinkit’s pretty interesting. Right in the legislative history itself it made this quote: “Senator Murphy convinced the committee that California’s unique problems and pioneering efforts justified a waiver.” Now Senator Murphy was the California senator. He got into a legislative battle with John Dingell. Dingell was trying to restrict the ability of EPA to grant a waiver. Senator Murphy wanted the broadest interpretation to make it as easy as possible for California to get a waiver. He won. It says so right here. Two points have to be, should be acknowledged. One is the unique conditions in California, compelling conditions. The geography, the topology, the mountain ranges in Los Angeles that build up smog, the concentration of vehicles, the number of vehicles. All those conditions exist today. The other aspect, number two because there’s twoprongs here, pioneering efforts. California is the pioneer, was and is. Legislative history talks about California leading the way, setting the pace and thereby helping the rest of the nation.

To me it is impossible to conclude thata waiver can be denied under the legislative history, the Supreme Court rulings and and EPA’s own decisions.I want to make one final point. It’s kind of asubtle one, I’ve had a bit of trouble grasping it myself. The compelling and extraordinary condition does not refer tothe particular standard. It doesn’t refer to California’s emission greenhouse gas standards that are at issue in thiswaiver. In the key decision in 1984 on diesel particulates Ruckelshaus, the administrator, said very clearly what is required to be compelling and unique are the conditions in California that once found justify the program that isdifferent and separate and more stringent. So it is not – The findings here are not about the specific greenhouse gas standards, it’s does California¬†continue in the state of its unique topology, its number ofcars, their concentration.

Is that true? And it certainlyis true. Is California still in the pioneering, the extraordinary role of pioneering new standards? Yes. Ifyou say yes to both of those then you’ve satisfied the compelling and extraordinary circumstance. And of course the idea that this affects other people doesn’t in any way negate or undermine it’s affecting California.One final point in support of this. In 1977, two years after EPCA was passed, Congress added the provision that other states could follow California’s law, California’s standard. Once you grant that waiver because of the continuing, compelling and extraordinary circumstance then not only California can impose the regulation but allthe other states. Which in this case are already 11 signed up. Those 11 states don’t have to show you any extraordinary, any compelling need. They don’t have to showyou anything, it’s automatic. And that really goes to the point that what is atissue in the law here is the unique historic situation in California.

Which once established continues to justify thewaiver unless there is some radical change in circumstances, which hasn’t happened. It’s just continuing exacerbation of the problem. And even to get specific, global warming will make worse all the criteria of pollutants. So on everyground California is justified. And as Susan Kennedy has said, this is a legally required waiver. And I would just end by general statement. We have been told in the press that the national government will stand alone and reject all the other nations, the G8 countries, all the major developed countries of the worldgathered in Germany next week. America will stand alone fighting any timetable or target. I think in that context it is particularly compelling, if not extraordinary, for the EPA following thelaw, not the politics, not the person who appoints theadministrator, but rather the law serving the people to allow California and the 11 other states and many more tofollow actually to join the other nations of the G8 countries and take a stand for timetables and targets.

It’s well thought out, it’s scientifically andtechnologically based. This is a great opportunity for the EPA to reinvigorate its role as a champion in the protection of our environment.