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2-min read

Arnie to sue Bush for disregarding climate change

He says, EPA has earned the name "environmental destruction agency."

News18test sharma |

Updated:December 21, 2007, 1:42 PM IST
Arnie to sue Bush for disregarding climate change
He says, EPA has earned the name "environmental destruction agency."

Washington: An angry California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has vowed to sue the Bush administration, saying the government showed it did not take climate change seriously by blocking state efforts to control greenhouse gas emissions.

The pledge came a day after the federal government blocked efforts by California and 16 other states to limit emissions from cars and trucks as a means of combating global warming.

"I am extremely disappointed by the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) decision to block the will of millions of people who want us to take tough action against global warming," Schwarzenegger said in a statement issued Thursday.

Calling the action "legally indefensible", Schwarzenegger said California would file suit "within the next three weeks" to overturn the EPA's ruling.

In broadcast remarks, he said the EPA had earned the name "environmental destruction agency".

"We will sue to overturn this ruling as quickly as possible," Schwarzenegger said. "I have no doubt that we will prevail because the law, science and the public's demand for leadership are on our side."

California and the 16 other states, which represent over half the US population, had sought to require car manufacturers to lower emissions to 23 percent below current new-car levels by 2012 and 30 percent by 2016 - tougher standards than those imposed by the energy bill signed into law Wednesday by Bush.

But EPA administrator Stephen Johnson rejected California's request for a waiver from the federal government to impose the tough standards.

Johnson said the state laws were made unnecessary by the new energy bill, which raises fuel economy standards for all cars and trucks to 35 miles per gallon by 2020 - about 14 km per litre.

"It's important to put this in perspective - (the new law) applies to all 50 states," Johnson said. "Not 12 states, not 17 states, all 50 states. That is great from an environmental perspective."

The EPA had delayed its ruling for over two years and was forced to act only after court action by California.

Environmentalists said the ruling was part of a long-standing effort by the Bush administration to stall action on climate change regulations.

"This decision is like pulling over the fire trucks on their way to the blaze," said Fred Krupp, president of the group Environmental Defense. "For 40 years, EPA administrators have recognized the important role that California plays in innovating new standards to fight pollution."

Schwarzenegger, whose strong stance on the environment puts him at odds with most other Republican Party leaders, was furious at the administration's stance.

"EPA's denial of our waiver request to enact the nation's cleanest standards for vehicle emissions is legally indefensible and another example of the failure to treat climate change with the seriousness it demands," he said.

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