Obama Clears Roadblock to Tougher Auto Emissions Standards in Md.

ANNAPOLIS (Jan. 26, 2009) – Today, the Obama Administration announced they will reconsider California's request for a waiver to the Clean Air Act enabling States, including Maryland and 12 other states, to set their own regulations limiting vehicle emissions. Following the announcement, Governor O’Malley released the following statement:

“After years of delay from the Bush Administration, we are pleased to see the Obama Administration making one if its first actions the confirmation that States such as Maryland have the right to regulate pollution from vehicles. This is a tremendous step forward to help our nation begin to control its energy future and to address global climate change. Maryland is proud to be among the first states to enact these regulations, and we look forward to continuing to address the critical challenges affecting our state and our planet.

“Maryland’s Clean Cars act is a critical component of how we can reduce our greenhouse gas emissions in Maryland by 25 percent by the year 2020. Today, we renewed our pledge to this scientifically supported goal by introducing the 2009 Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act. The recent early actions Maryland has taken on greenhouse gas emissions make significant strides towards achieving this goal, and the Clean Cars Act makes up about one-fifth of these projected reductions.

“Today’s announcement by the Obama Administration illustrates that the people of Maryland once again have an ally in the White House.”

Maryland has regulations for vehicle emissions through the 2007 Clean Cars Act. If the Environmental Protection Agency signs this waiver, Maryland's Clean Cars Act will go into immediate effect and apply to all model year 2011 vehicles. After the Bush Administration rejected California's request, in December 2007 Maryland joined a lawsuit against the EPA to force the Agency to allow States their right to regulate vehicle emissions.

Source: Gov. O'Malley's Office

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