-- Attorney General Anne Milgram announced
today that New Jersey is joining a federal
lawsuit brought by California against the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
seeking to uphold the right of states to
regulate greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles.
New Jersey is one of 15-states joining the
The federal Clean Air Act grants California
-- exclusively among all states -- the power
to enact its own air pollution standards
for vehicles. The Clean Air Act also allows
other states to adopt California’s
standards. But California’s standards
and those of the other states can only take
effect if the EPA grants a waiver exempting
California from federal regulation.
Jersey has made a strong commitment to tackling
the problem of global warming, but a similar
commitment by the federal government is
critical, and a good place to start would
be approval of the California waiver request,"
said Attorney General Milgram. "The
Supreme Court has acknowledged that greenhouse
gases are 'air pollutants' under the Clean
Air Act, and that the harms associated with
global warming are serious and well recognized.
We need the waiver enabling California’s
proposed greenhouse gas emission standards
for new motor vehicles, which are vital
to the health and well being of New Jersey
On December 19, 2007, the EPA denied California’s
request for a waiver, preventing California
and all other states from implementing greenhouse
gas emissions standards for automobiles.
standards, adopted in August 2005, would
reduce emissions of greenhouse gases from
cars by 30 percent by 2016. New Jersey adopted
California’s standards in November
2005. In total, at least 17 other states
have now either adopted or plan to adopt
the California standards.
The California lawsuit, which seeks to reverse
the EPA denial, was filed in the U.S. Court
of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In addition
to New Jersey, the states or state agencies
intervening in the suit are: Massachusetts,
Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois,
Maine, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, Oregon,
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental
Protection, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.
In 2007, Attorney General Milgram testified
at an EPA hearing in Washington, D.C. on
the California waiver issue. At that hearing,
Milgram noted that New Jersey has 130 miles
of highly-populated coastline, and is “highly
vulnerable” to the sea-level rise
predicted due to global warming. Milgram
explained at the EPA session that New Jersey
Governor Jon Corzine has signed an Executive
Order setting a goal of cutting greenhouse
gas emission levels by 20 percent by 2020,
and calls for a reduction from 2006 levels
of 80 percent by the year 2050.
Deputy Attorney Generals Jung Kim and Lisa
Morelli are handling New Jersey’s
intervention in the California lawsuit on
behalf of the State.