Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will reconsider its decision denying California permission to set standards to control greenhouse gases from motor vehicles.

On March 6, 2008, then-EPA administrator Stephen Johnson denied a request made by the state on December 21, 2005 that would allow it to control greenhouse gas emissions. On January 26, 2009, President Barack Obama requested that the EPA revisit the matter of the denial.

The Clean Air Act gives the EPA the authority to allow California to adopt its own emission standards for motor vehicles, due to the seriousness of the state’s air pollution challenges. The EPA had granted various waivers over the years, but refused the greenhouse gas emissions waiver, citing that tighter federal CAFE rules would reduce emissions across the country.

“EPA has now set in motion an impartial review of the California waiver decision,” said EPA administrator Lisa Jackson. “It is imperative that we get this decision right, and base it on the best available science and a thorough understanding of the law.”

The EPA will take public comment on the issue for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register, and will hold a public hearing in Washington in March.

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