Press Release

January 26, 2009
A change in policy would allow Maryland and other states to reduce vehicle emissions in effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) today praised the decision of the Obama Administration to have the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) review a decision by the Bush Administration that prohibited states from cutting vehicle emissions as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).  


Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has long supported granting what is known as the “California Waiver,” which would allow states to adopt major pollution reduction measures to reduce GHG by 30% in all vehicles sold by 2016.   The Bush Administration repeatedly refused to grant the waiver.   After the November election, Senator Cardin wrote to President-elect Obama urging him to “move swiftly to fulfill his campaign promise” to grant the California waiver and allow states to move ahead with plans to reduce auto emissions and cut greenhouse gas emissions.


Maryland is one of 15 states that have adopted the waiver authority to the Clean Air Act. Another four states are moving toward adopting the waiver.   Those 19 states represent more than 150 million Americans – a majority of the U.S. population.


The connection between global warming and greenhouse gas emissions is well documented by scientists and represents a serious threat to our environment,” said Senator Cardin.   “Marylanders and all Americans have a right to clean air and the states have a right to set new standards that will protect its citizens by improving air quality while moving our nation a step closer toward energy security.”


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.