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California to sue US government over greenhouse gases

by Staff Writers
San Francisco (AFP) Nov 8, 2007
California on Thursday said it had filed a lawsuit to force the United States government to approve the state's tough new proposals aimed at slashing greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles.

At a news conference in Sacramento, California's Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Edmund Brown said the state was suing the Environmental Protection Agency over its failure to greenlight the legislation.

California passed legislation in 2002 requiring automakers to reduce vehicle emissions 30 percent by 2016. Eleven other US states have said they will adopt California's emissions standards.

However for the law to take effect, California requires approval with a waiver from the EPA -- which has so far not been forthcoming despite a request being filed in December 2005.

"Despite the mounting dangers of global warming, the EPA has delayed and ignored California's right to impose stricter environmental standards," Brown, a Democrat, told reporters on Thursday.

"We have waited two years and the Supreme Court has ruled in our favor. What is the EPA waiting for?"

Brown told a hearing in Washington this year that California's emissions targets were achievable within the stated time-frame.

"There is no doubt that automobile manufacturers can meet that goal, and since the federal government does not want to seek such a reduction California intends to move forward," he said.

California's Republican governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has made the environment a key issue of his tenure, signing a historic bill in September 2006 that saw the state become the first in the US to impose limits on global warming gases.

Under the plan, California will aim to slash the state's carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent by the year 2020.

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12 dead in clashes around Yemen oilfield
Sanaa (AFP) Nov 8, 2007
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