Eco groups rally against EPA

Several high-profile environmental groups have joined a number of California leaders by challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent decision denying the state the right to implement its own greenhouse-gas-emissions law.

California’s regulations, which were slated to be adopted by 16 other states, would require a 23-percent reduction in emissions of new cars and light trucks by 2012, and a 30-percent cut by 2016. The Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense and the Sierra Club are among the five groups that filed the suit in the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco last week.

Because the EPA has granted the state dozens of waivers allowing leaders to set their own vehicle emissions standards over the past 40 years, lawyers, including Environmental Defense’s Jim Tripp, expect to win the suit. “The agency’s decision defies the law, the science and the will of states representing nearly half of the U.S. population,” he said in a prepared statement.