Governors of Eight States Oppose Legislation that Preempts Efforts to Combat Climate Change
The Governors of Arizona, California, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington sent a letter to Congressman Rick Boucher today opposing his legislation that would preempt the states' efforts to combat climate change by enacting regulations that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
"In the absence of federal leadership, states like New Mexico are pursuing clean tailpipe standards to improve air quality and address climate change.
The Environmental Protection Agency already has dragged its feet in an attempt to block the states from implementing clean tailpipe standards," said Governor Bill Richardson. "We don't need Congress adding another obstacle to state ingenuity and leadership on an issue as important as the environment."
Text of the letter follows:
June 7, 2007
The Honorable Rick Boucher
U.S. House of Representatives
2187 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Mr. Boucher,
We are writing to express our strong opposition to the June 1, 2007, discussion draft of Alternative Fuels, Infrastructure and Vehicles. This legislation preempts our states' critical efforts to combat climate change by enacting regulations that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While federal action is necessary and long overdue on climate change, Congress must not deny states the right to pursue solutions in the absence of federal
Specifically, this bill will preempt California's passenger vehicles and light duty truck emission standards, which will reduce greenhouse emissions by 30 percent. Our states, which collectively represent more than one-third of the automobile market, have either adopted or will adopt California's standards. Not only does this bill deny our right to adopt California's vehicle emissions standards - a right granted by the federal Clean Air Act - but it eliminates the Environmental Protection Agency's regulatory authority over greenhouse gasses as a pollutant. This amounts to an about-face reversal of the Supreme Court decision identifying CO2 as a pollutant within the scope of the Clean Air Act (Massachusetts v. EPA). Finally, we are opposed to the bill's delegation of regulatory authority to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Our states are at the forefront of the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and our nation's dependence on carbon-based fuels. Climate change is real, and it impacts the public health and welfare of every American. Congress must preserve states' ability to fight greenhouse gas emissions now. Going forward, states and the federal government must collaborate to take even stronger actions against the continuing threat of climate change.
We urge you to pursue legislation that instead enhances and complements the efforts already underway in our states.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, California
Deval Patrick, Massachusetts
Eliot Spitzer, New York
Christine Gregoire, Washington
Bill Richardson, New Mexico
Ted Kulongoski, Oregon
Edward Rendell, Pennsylvania
Janet Napolitano, Arizona