WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin today called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Stephen Johnson to approve the “California Clean Car” rules by July 15 during a Senate Environment Public Works Committee (EPW) hearing. The change would allow Maryland and 10 other participating states to enact the same tough emission standards that now govern California’s cars and light trucks (including SUVs and small pickups), requiring automakers to reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses by 30% in all vehicles sold in Maryland by 2016.
Senator Cardin, a member of the EPW, told the committee during the hearing: “We need to move quickly to put cleaner cars on Maryland’s highways and also start addressing the alarming rise in greenhouse gasses. California has long been a leader in forcing the auto industry to adopt more stringent environmental standards. By allowing Maryland and other states to hold automobile manufactures to the same tough standards as California, we are making an important step in combating the greenhouse gasses produced by automobiles.”
The Maryland General Assembly passed the “California Clean Car” rules earlier this year, but before they can go into effect, the EPA must approve them. Currently, California is the only state allowed to set its own environmental standards for the auto industry aside from the federal government. While EPA Administrator Johnson would not commit to the July 15 timetable, former EPA Administrator Carol Browner called Senator Cardin’s deadline “entirely reasonable.”
EPA Administrator Johnson appeared today before the Senate panel to testify about the EPA’s role in regulating greenhouse gas emissions. Earlier this month the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the EPA has the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from personal vehicles. The case was Massachusetts v. EPA