Gov. Schwarzenegger isn't waiting to press the Obama administration on one of California's top priorities -- regulating greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles.
The Republican governor sent a letter today to the new president asking him to give California and other states permission to implement tough tailpipe-emission standards.
Schwarzenegger says Obama's support would help move America toward global leadership on addressing climate change.
"For four years, California and a growing number of farsighted states have sought to enforce a common-sense policy to reduce global-warming pollution from passenger vehicles, which are the source of 20 percent of our nation’s greenhouse gas emissions," Schwarzenegger said. "Regulation will not only reduce these emissions, but will also save drivers money and reduce our nation’s dependence on imported oil."
If granted, the decision would reverse a 2007 conclusion by the Bush administration.
"Your administration has a unique opportunity to both support the pioneering leadership of these states and move America toward global leadership on addressing climate change," Schwarzenegger said. "I ask that you direct the U.S. EPA to act promptly and favorably on California’s reconsideration request so that we may continue the critical work of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and their impact on global climate change."
It said states do not have authority to impose greenhouse gas standards for new cars, pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles.
The Bush administration argued that such goals can be met only by regulating fuel-efficiency standards, something that falls under the authority of the federal government.