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EPA grants California emissions waiver

by Bill Cawthon on

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today granted California a Clean Air Act waiver allowing the state to set its own standards for tailpipe emissions including greenhouse gases.

The waiver was originally sought in 2005, during the Bush Administration. After a controversial review, the EPA rejected the request last year. Shortly after taking office in January, President Obama ordered a review of the issue which led to today’s action.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said the decision was based on a careful reading of the Clean Air Act and EPA history.

“This decision puts the law and science first. After review of the scientific findings, and another comprehensive round of public engagement, I have decided this is the appropriate course under the law,” Lisa Jackson said in a statement. “This decision was based entirely on the law and not at all on politics.”

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger hailed the EPA action, saying it was a “huge step for our emerging green economy that will create thousands of new jobs and bring Californians the cars they want while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

As part of the negotiations to obtain the waiver, the state agreed to delay implementation of new standards until 2017. A number of other states have also adopted the California standards.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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