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  • Published: Jul 3rd, 2009
  • Category: USA
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EPA grants California CO2 emissions waiver

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After a five-year legal battle, the Environmental Protection Agency yesterday granted California permission to set the nations first greenhouse-gas emissions standards for cars. This paves the way for as many as 15 other states that have endorsed Californias proposal to follow suit.

The states victory is mostly symbolic at this point, because it already agreed to follow new federal regulations through 2015. But it provides a final resolution to years of legal wrangling over CO2 limits on tailpipe emissions.

Since cars emit carbon dioxide in direct proportion to their fuel consumption, the issue had been mired in dozens of lawsuits and countersuits among automakers, the various states, the EPA, and non-profit environmental organizations over whether the rule was an emissions or a fuel economy regulation, whether it was practical, and who had the right to enforce it. This action ends the long saga.

Under the 1968 Clean Air Act, California is allowed to set its tougher emissions standards than the rest of the country, but it cant set fuel economy standards. Other states are allowed to sign on to the California standard or the national standard, but only with the permission, or

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