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State Capitol
Press Release
January 2, 2008
Oregon Joins in Lawsuit against EPA over Greenhouse Gas Pollution
Governor Ted Kulongoski and Attorney General Hardy Myers sue to uphold Oregon's right to regulate greenhouse gases
Salem – Governor Ted Kulongoski and Attorney General Hardy Myers today announced that Oregon and 14 other states are joining California in a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to uphold the right of states to regulate greenhouse gas pollution from automobiles. 
“The federal government has refused to act when it comes to addressing global warming, leaving us no choice but to join in this lawsuit,” said Governor Kulongoski. “Oregon has the right to protect its environment and the health of its citizens by regulating tailpipe emissions and we will pursue every legal means to protect that right.”
The lawsuit is in response to the EPA’s denial of California’s request for a waiver to set stricter tailpipe emissions standards than those set by the federal government, preventing California, Oregon, and other states from implementing stricter greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars. The federal Clean Air Act grants California -- exclusively among all states -- the power to enact its own air pollution standards for cars and allows other states to adopt California’s standards. In 2005, Oregon set emissions standards for tailpipes that are stricter than those of the federal government, but those standards cannot be enacted without the waiver for California that the EPA has denied. In total, at least 17 other states have now either adopted or plan to adopt the California standards. 
“The Clean Air Act provides that states can choose to regulate pollutants linked to global warming. EPA’s denial of California’s waiver, which also obstructs Oregon’s effort to apply more stringent standards locally, is a decision based on politics and not the law,” said Attorney General Hardy Myers.
The clean car standard is a core commitment for Oregon and the states that have joined the Western Climate Initiative and this ruling would be a significant set back for greenhouse gas reductions for the Western states.
Today’s lawsuit, which seeks to reverse the EPA decision, was filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In addition to Oregon, the states or state agencies intervening in the suit are: Massachusetts, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

Anna Richter Taylor, 503-378-5040
Patty Wentz, 503-378-6169
Rem Nivens, 503-378-6496
Stephanie Soden (DOJ), 503-378-6002

Page updated: January 05, 2008

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