Enviros: EPA action on auto emissions ties Colorado’s hands | AspenTimes.com

Enviros: EPA action on auto emissions ties Colorado’s hands

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

DENVER ” The Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to block California’s crackdown on auto emissions is hampering efforts by Colorado to reduce greenhouse gases, an environmental group said Friday.

“The EPA has turned a blind eye to science, law and the critical role that the states are playing in tackling global warming,” said Keith Hay, energy advocate for Environment Colorado.

EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson in December denied California a waiver from federal rules that would have allowed the state to adopt a first-of-its-kind greenhouse gas cap on vehicles. Johnson said Friday that problems with global warming aren’t unique to California, so a waiver wasn’t justified.

Twelve other states had adopted California’s restrictions and Gov. Bill Ritter planned to approve them. The auto standards were part of a plan addressing climate change unveiled by Ritter in November.

“The Bush administration needs to get out of the way and let our state take action to fight global warming and protect Colorado consumers,” Hay said.

Colorado car dealers have said their industry would suffer if the state sets tougher auto emissions standards rather than offer incentives to consumers.