State Capitol News
Thu January 3, 2008
AZ intervenes in case against EPA
By Howard Fischer
Phoenix, AZ – Attorney General Terry Goddard filed legal papers today to intervene in California's challenge to the denial by the Environmental Protection Agency of its authority to regulate greenhouse gases. Arizona Public Radio's Howard Fischer explains why.
Federal law generally prohibits states from enacting
their own vehicle emission standards. There is an
exception for California if it gets EPA permission.
Once that happens, other states can choose which
standard to adopt. But EPA Administrator Stephen
Johnson denied California's request to limit tailpipe
emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases,
stalling similar rules proposed here. Johnson said
climate change is a global problem that should not be
dealt with on a state-by-state level. But Attorney
General Terry Goddard said he believes the Bush
administration just doesn't want to deal with global
(This is a rear-guard action by Administrator Johnson
to sort of hold the tide of opinion which clearly says
that greenhouse gases are a problem, that we need to
take action within our lifetime on doing something
about it, and that California's move, albeit only part
of the answer, is a move in the right direction.)
Arizona's proposed rules would require manufacturers to
cut average greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent. The
standards have been opposed by automakers who cite
figures showing that could increase the cost of
vehicles by $1,000 or more.
For Arizona Public Radio
this is Howard Fischer.