Attorney General Steve Rowe Appeals EPA's Decision on Auto Emmissions Standards

January 2, 2008

Today Maine Attorney General Steve Rowe announced that he is joining a lawsuit against the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to uphold the right of states to regulate greenhouse gas pollution from automobiles. Maine is part of a 15-state coalition appealing the EPA?s December 19, 2007 denial of California?s request for a waiver. The denial prevents Maine from implementing 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. The Clean Air Act also allows other states to adopt California?s standards. But California?s standards and those of the other states can only take effect if the EPA grants a waiver exempting California from federal regulation.

?The Bush administration has ignored the problem of climate change, now they are blocking the states from taking action? Rowe stated. ?The decision by the EPA to deny California?s waiver request leaves states no choice but to file this appeal.?

Maine adopted California?s standards in 2005 with the aim of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases from cars by 30% by 2016. In total, at least17 other states have now either adopted or plan to adopt the California standards.

?While it is good that the EPA is finally recognizing that greenhouse gasses contribute to climate change, and therefore pose a global threat, the agency offers as a solution a program that will take more than a dozen years to achieve.? Rowe said. ?Maine and other states are ready to act now.?

Today?s lawsuit, which seeks to reverse the EPA decision, was filed by the State of California in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Other states or state agencies intervening in the suit are: Massachusetts, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.


NEWS RELEASE January 2, 2008 David Loughran, Special Assistant to the Attorney General, (207) 626-8577