California wastes no time pressing new EPA

January 22, 2009

California wasted no time asking incoming U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief Lisa Jackson to reconsider a request to let the state impose stiff targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars.

 The state’s top air quality regulator sent a letter to Jackson on Wednesday, the Obama administration’s first full day at work. Jackson hasn’t even been confirmed as the new EPA administrator yet, but California isn’t beating around the bush.

Stephen Johnson, the EPA administrator under former President Bush, drew the ire of California and more than a dozen other states in 2007 when he denied the state’s request for federal permission to impose tough new standards on auto emissions. 

With a new president in office, California is trying again. Even Gov. Schwarzenegger got involved, sending his own letter to Obama on Wednesday asking for his help in directing the EPA. To check out both Nichols and Schwarzenegger’s letters, click here.

Odds appear to be on California’s side, as Jackson said during her confirmation hearing that she would reconsider California’s request for a waiver on auto emissions — and would let science guide her on policy decisions.

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