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Press Room:  For Immediate Release 
Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet

CONTACT: Josh Dorner, 202.675.2384

Obama EPA Paves the Way for Clean Cars 
Long-Sought Decision on Waiver Allows California, 
Other States to Slash Oil Dependence, Tackle Warming 

Washington, D.C.--The Environmental Protection Agency today reversed one of the most controversial decisions of the previous administration and granted California the Clean Air Act "waiver" that it and more than a dozen other states need to move forward with their landmark global warming emissions standards for vehicles.  Today's announcement will be followed a rulemaking process for the Obama administration's comprehensive national plan for clean cars. 

Granting the waiver will allow California and the other states to move forward with standards for the model years 2009-2016.  President Obama recently announced a national standard mirroring California's effort to cut global warming emissions from tailpipes 30 percent by 2016.  That standard will be in effect for the model years 2012-2016, during which time California and the other states shall defer to the national standard.

The Sierra Club plans to present Administrator Jackson with a signed thank you card from citizens across the country who submitted their photos as part of testimony urging EPA to approve the waiver.  That image can be seen here:

Statement of Carl Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director

"President Obama and Administrator Jackson see the Big Picture when it comes to getting America running on clean energy.  California's landmark effort to slash the global warming pollution coming from our cars, trucks, and SUVs is the cornerstone of the administration's ambitious, yet achievable national plan for clean cars.  Today's decision will ensure that clean and fuel efficient autos of tomorrow are made right here in America, slash our dependence on oil, and tackle global warming.  That is why this plan, a testament to the president's leadership, is supported by the auto industry, scientists, and environmentalists alike.

"Allowing California and the other states to move forward is a decision that is consistent with the law, consistent with science, and consistent with strong economic growth.  It further underscores the commitment of this administration and this EPA administrator to put science and the rule of law first--even when it comes to politically sensitive decisions.

"California has once again shown itself to be a laboratory for national environmental and energy policy, as President Obama himself has often remarked.  It has blazed a trail in the policy arena, while also maintaining
strong economic growth even as it has implemented the nation's most protective environmental standards. 

"We take today's announcement as yet another sign that the Obama administration is moving aggressively to seize the reins and lead again when it comes to the clean energy policies that will create millions of new jobs, rebuild the manufacturing sector and American middle class, and tackle our dangerous dependence on oil.  We hope that our leaders in Washington will continue to follow California's lead as they craft a comprehensive clean energy and climate plan.

"Millions of Americans are clamoring for clean energy and clean cars.  On their behalf, we thank the Obama administration for this important decision."


The EPA's press release and decisional documents can be found here:

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