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EPA nixes states’ plan to limit greenhouse gases

The Bush administration has denied a request by California and more than a dozen other states to impose the toughest automobile greenhouse gas emissions standards to date.

The denial by the Environmental Protection Agency of a waiver allowing the states to regulate auto emissions came after President George W. bush signed into law an energy bill – a move the agency said takes care of the issue. The new law requires automakers to cut emissions by 25 percent by 2009 and by 40 percent by 2020.

The law provides “clear national solution — not a confusing patchwork of state rules,” said EPA administrator Stephen Johnson according to a Reuters report.

The denial of a waiver came after California sued the EPA in a move for force the agency to allow the states to move forward with the stricter standard. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vowed an appeal. “California sued to compel the agency to act on our waiver, and now we will sue to overturn today’s decision and allow Californians to protect our environment,” he said in a statement.

Conservation Law Foundation President Philip Warburg decried the EPA’s decision. “Yet again the Bush Administration and its Environmental Protection Agency have failed to live up to the greatest environmental challenge of our generation: global warming,” Warburg said. “This decision not only violates federal law but also shows a frightening disregard for the health and safety of Americans and our environment.”

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