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Larry Fafarman

Tim Dowling said,

--"When EPA Administrator Johnson announced his decision to deny California’s waiver request, one reason he gave is that global warming is not “unique” to California."--

The issue here is not uniqueness but is the existence of "compelling and extraordinary conditions" (California waiver provision, 42 USC §7543(b)). Neither California nor any of the other 16 states that have adopted or plan to adopt the California auto emissions standards have "extraordinary" vulnerability to the possible effects of greenhouse gas emissions on climate. Furthermore, the maximum possible effect that granting the waiver would have on climate would be insignificant.

Tim Dowling

Larry -- We certainly agree that the issue under the CAA is not whether global warming is "unique" to California, and so it's puzzling that EPA and its defenders keep raising this canard. You're quite wrong, however, in asserting that global warming does not pose an "extraordinary" threat to California; it most certainly does, as we've discussed in previous posts and as California has amply documented.

The California program will result in a significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, nothing in the Act requires a reviewing court to consider the California program in isolation. The discussion of standing in Mass. v. EPA will provide California with additional support, at least by analogy, on this point. As the Supreme Court ruled in that case, when faced with a large, complex problem, it is entirely reasonable for regulators to take a step-by-step approach in crafting solutions.

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