January 23, 2008

CARDIN CO-SPONSORS BILL TO ALLOW MARYLAND TO SET NEW EMISSIONS STANDARDS FOR VEHICLES

Legislation is Result of Denial of "Waiver" by EPA

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), today co-sponsored legislation that would allow Maryland and 14 other states to cut greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks in an effort to reduce global warming.

 

In December, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Stephen Johnson ignored the advice of EPA's own scientists and legal counsel and denied a "waiver" allowing Maryland and 14 other states to cut greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks in an effort to reduce global warming.

 

Known as the "California Waiver," Maryland and the other states adopted major pollution reduction measures that would reduce greenhouse gases by 30% in all vehicles sold by 2016 as well as provide major reductions in summertime smog.   After a two years delay, in December the EPA denied the states' request to set new emissions standards.

 

Senator Cardin called for passage of the Reducing Global Warming Pollution for Vehicles Act "because the EPA has clearly chosen to ignore the issue of global warming.   It's time that States are allowed to take meaningful action to protect the health of its citizens by reducing greenhouse gas emissions." He also stressed that EPA's denial of the waiver "was the first time that such a petition has been denied in more than 50 instances."  

 

In 2007, Maryland enacted the Maryland Clean Car Act, which would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by an estimated 7.7 million metric tons by 2025, according to the Maryland Commission on Climate Change.    

 

The Environment and Public Works Committee, which has oversight responsibility for EPA, will be holding a hearing on the waiver denial on Thursday, Jan. 24.   Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley is among the witnesses scheduled to testify.   Senator Cardin is a member of the Committee.