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Florida joins coalition of states suing EPA
By Times Staff Writer
Published February 6, 2008
As expected, Florida has joined California's lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency over the right to regulate vehicle emissions as a way to combat global warming.
Gov. Charlie Crist signed an executive order in July that called for automakers not to sell cars in Florida that produced too much greenhouse gas, following standards that California had first imposed. The Clean Air Act allows California to impose stricter standards than the EPA's own, as long as it first gets a waiver from the EPA, and other states can then adopt the same standards.
On Dec. 19, 2007, two years after California requested the waiver, the EPA denied it. So last month, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced his state had filed a lawsuit appealing the denial.
Now that Florida has joined the suit against the EPA, more than 17 states - including New York, Maryland, Minnesota, Iowa, Massachusetts, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection - have intervened in support of California's lawsuit.
In Florida, the transportation sector represents about 46 percent of the state's carbon dioxide emissions, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection. Passenger vehicles alone generate 64 percent of carbon dioxide emissions in the transportation sector, 81-million metric tons.