Wednesday, April 28, 2010

EPA Administrator Before House Energy and Environment

Statement of Lisa P. Jackson Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Legislative Hearing on Clean Energy Policies That Reduce Our Dependence on Oil

House Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment



First, in April 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded in Massachusetts v. EPA that the Clean Air Act’s definition of air pollution includes greenhouse gases. The Court rejected then-Administrator Johnson’s refusal to determine whether that pollution from motor vehicles endangers public health or welfare. In response to the Supreme Court’s decision, and based on the best available science and EPA’s review of thousands of public comments, I found in December 2009 that motor-vehicle greenhouse gas emissions do endanger Americans’ health and welfare.

The second pivotal event was the agreement President Obama announced in May 2009 between EPA, the Department of Transportation, the nation’s automakers, America’s autoworkers, and the State of California to seek harmonized, nationwide limits on the fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions of new cars and light trucks. My endangerment finding in December satisfied the prerequisite in the Clean Air Act for establishing a greenhouse gas emissions standard for cars and light trucks of Model Years 2012 through 2016.

But if Congress now nullified EPA’s finding that greenhouse gas pollution endangers the American public, that action would remove the legal basis for a federal greenhouse gas emissions standard for motor vehicles. Eliminating the EPA standard would forfeit one quarter of the combined EPA-DOT program’s fuel savings and one third of its greenhouse gas emissions cuts. California and the other states that have adopted California’s greenhouse gas emissions standard would almost certainly respond by enforcing that standard within their jurisdictions, leaving the automobile industry without the nationwide uniformity that it has described as vital to its business.

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