Connecticut Attorney General's Office

Press Release

Attorney General Hails EPA Waiver Allowing State Regulation Of Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Pollution

June 30, 2009

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today announced that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) -- in a significant victory for the environment and state rights -- has agreed to provide a waiver allowing California, Connecticut and other states to regulate greenhouse gas pollution from vehicles.

Blumenthal and 18 other attorneys general sued the federal government last year after the EPA under former President Bush denied California's request for the waiver under the Clean Air Act.

In a significant reversal -- after President Obama ordered the EPA to reconsider its denial earlier this year -- the EPA has rescinded its earlier denial and granted California, and consequently other states, a waiver allowing stronger state regulation of vehicle emissions.

This decision also comes after President Obama announced plans to adopt a tough national fuel-economy standard, rather than force states to fight pollution alone.

"This waiver will clear our air -- and clear the way for states to protect their people and planet from harmful CO2 pollution," Blumenthal said. "Connecticut has already adopted California's emission standards -- blocked by the Bush administration's refusal to grant a waiver -- which will reduce greenhouse gases from cars by 30 percent by 2016.

"Today's waiver enables Connecticut to enforce the California standards, compelling manufacturers to submit data demonstrating that they have met emissions goals.

"The federal government has gone from a bullying blockade to a powerful partner in the fight against CO2 pollution -- enabling states to adopt tougher standards, but also joining states by promising strong national standards. This decision is a vital victory for environmental protection, but also state rights to protect citizens from public health harm."