Schwarzenegger Says California Will Sue Federal Government Over Emissions Ruling

Today the EPA announced that California and 16 other states will not be allowed to make their own laws governing greenhouse gas emissions, because “The Bush administration is moving forward with a clear national solution, not a confusing patchwork of state rules.” California’s robot leader of the future and erstwhile killing machine promptly announced that California will be suing the federal government, and in a press conference today said that “It’s another example of the administration’s failure to treat global warming with the seriousness that it actually demands.”

Want more quotes? President Bush said today, in defense of the EPA’s decision, “Is it more effective to let each state make a decision as to how to proceed in curbing greenhouse gases? Or is it more effective to have a national strategy?” Okay, that doesn’t add much to the discussion, so we’ll go back to Schwarzenegger:

“It is disappointing that the federal government is standing in our way and ignoring the will of tens of millions of people across the nation,” Mr. Schwarzenegger said. “We will continue to fight this battle.”

He added, “California sued to compel the agency to act on our waiver, and now we will sue to overturn today’s decision and allow Californians to protect our environment.”

California’s plan would be slightly more aggressive than the new energy bill signed by the President on Wednesday—California would require results by 2016 instead of 2020, and has more specific demands regarding fuel efficiency. The New York Times says the EPA’s decision has “provoked a heated debate over its scientific basis and whether political pressure was applied by the automobile industry to help it escape the proposed California regulations.”

“Schwarzenegger: California will sue federal government” [CNN]
“E.P.A. Says 17 States Can’t Set Emission Rules” [New York Times]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Cary says:

    Personally I never could figure out how they were keeping that stinky Oregon air out of California in the first place

  2. sled_dog says:

    I believe Oregon is another of the “16 states” mentioned. So is my state, Washington.

    Two thoughts….

    (1) though there is a federal minimum wage, there is a state minimum wage. The state wage cannot go below the federal, and most go above. Wh not the same logic here?

    (2) Years ago there were “California Cars” … those specially outfitted to meet CA emmisions standards. Before long the auto industry tire of building special cars for CA, they started building them ALL that way. The reusult? CLeaner cars for everyone, not just in CA. If history follows, what’s wron with that?

  3. sled_dog says:

    Jees i need a new keyboard …

  4. avantartist says:

    in the end we’ll only be able to lease vehicles because the car you bought and paid off no longer meets the new emissions standards and it’s going to cost you a few grand to update it.

    [the automobile industry should embrace this]

    don’t get me wrong, I’m all for clean air

  5. Buran says:

    @sled_dog: There still are CA Emissions vehicles — those sold in states that meet CARB standards. What’s insane is that these are cleaner than 45-state-legal cars, would benefit everyone anywhere, but (for example) I still can’t get a PZEV VW GTI here in MO and would have to go to a CARB-following state to get one and then title/register it here. I can’t just have my local dealer order one.

    Can this be true, does the Clean Air Act stop most of us from buying clean cars? – AutoblogGreen


  6. Monkey4Sale says:

    @Cary: Hey, we have nice air. It just depends on what city you are in. Albany for example has stinky air, Corvallis, not so much. Most of the coast smells like saltwater, or mud depending on time of day. I’m surprised that we don’t have the $75 ‘your car is safe for the road and has less emissions’ that Maine has, but who knows, some day.

  7. EtherealStrife says:

    I’d pay good money to see Ahnold and the Shrub facing it off in a ring.

  8. hotrodmetal says:

    It’s all baloney. CARB thinks that the whole country should step in line of their way of thinking on emissions, fuel efficiency, etc..

    No one really cares about emissions, or gas prices. If they did they would vote with their pocketbook, or stop driving, or make better use of their feet.

    The small amount legislators in Northern CA think they are saving the general public from themselves with these half hearted measures. They think that we are stupid or inept & don’t understand that this is entirely political.

    I live in CA currently and they are out of touch with the rest of the country on this issue & lot of others. It is still an okay place to live.

    There are 300million people in our country. The 30-35million that are in CA doesn’t represent the rest and shouldn’t be browbeat into following them.


  9. ceejeemcbeegee is not here says:

    Hey, we need the clean air so all the newly released inmates can breathe easier:


  10. BigNutty says:

    Doesn’t everybody just go to the special mechanic in town that takes a C note to cheat and pass your car?

    Does everybody really care about car emissions? Just live by the ocean in California and the smog blows away to the valley.

  11. @BigNutty: No considering all test are run at DMV facilities in the state of maryland. It didn’t even cross my mind. Way to admit to fruad though, buddy.

  12. BugMeNot2 says:

    @BigNutty: Live by the ocean in California and get all the same Chinese smog the rest of California gets.

  13. SOhp101 says:

    @BigNutty: It takes you a c-note to get your car to pass smog checks? Do a little research and you’ll find that adding some stuff to your fill up before the test will let your car pass with flying colors, all for a lot less than 100 bucks.

    Yes, moving to the coastline is the best answer because everyone knows how cheap real estate is in CA.

    @hotrodmetal: You’re the one that’s more out of touch; a lot of people care about emissions standards–namely automakers. I actually doubt that you really do live in CA because if you did, you would understand that it is really difficult to get around anywhere without a car. Perhaps the only city where it’s possible is San Francisco and the surrounding area, and the strong majority of people living there would be against EPA’s ruling.

    CA isn’t asking the rest of the country to follow their lead; it’s asking to allow them to do their own thing. It’s not their fault that 15 other states prefer to save on R&D and just follow the same standards.

    There are over 6 billion people in the world. The 300 million people that are in the US doesn’t represent the rest and shouldn’t be browbeat into following them.

  14. darkclawsofchaos says:

    The problem with the governor’s rule is that cars that come from other states become invalid and thus thet technically becomes an interstate issue which is the government’s jurisdiction.

  15. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @EtherealStrife: Oh hell yes.

  16. karmaghost says:

    Say what you will about Schwarzenegger, but his grasp of the English language and grammar is leaps and bounds above Bush’s.

    I’m torn here with this because I think we need more aggressive legislature, but at the same time I’m amazed they were able to pass the federal measures in the first place so I’m happy they accomplished anything.

    I’m wondering how a state plan would work, though; if you had a state like California that had really strict standards, would you see some businesses abandoning the state rather than deal with the new restrictions? Maybe not California, but how about other states that aren’t giant money pits?

  17. GinaLouise says:

    (Inner conflict) I’ve voted against Ahnold twice, and now he’s actually done something I can semi-sorta-kinda get behind. (Inner conflict)

    Now, I actually live on the gorgeous coast (and it costs me a fortune!) but I’ve visited the San Fernando Valley, and if you’ve ever seen a bright green sky over Hwy. 405, you’d agree that anything to curb emissions is a good thing.

    And like other posters have said, it’s not like California wants to impose its rules on everybody else. If car companies choose not to make cars for the most populous state in the union (which also happens to represent 13 percent of the nation’s GDP) that’s totally fine by us! (Thank you wikipedia!)

  18. JPropaganda says:

    Aren’t republicans supposed to be against big governments? Pro-giving state governments and the individual more freedom? Damn war, when did all this change?

  19. bhall03 says:

    @Cary: It’s kept out by all the hot air coming out of Hollywood.

  20. Electroqueen says:

    Hmm… I can understand why Ahnuld’s going to sue the EPA. Considering the head of EPA is against reducing emissions and cars with better fuel economy, and the fact that he tested pesticides on human subjects.

    Wasn’t there an administrator that lobbied FOR Pollution?

  21. hi says:



  22. hi says:

    OK the links doesn’t work on this website …
    try again:

  23. uclajason says:

    This is a very difficult issue that I am only beginning to understand legally. Basically, we have the EPA which is an independent administrative agency which sets certain environmental standards. The EPA has long allowed for states to create higher standards in certain situations. Usually it is the EPA who sets the environmental standards as Congress does not have time to bother with making a law for every standard. This is actually kind of what administrative agencies do – make rules which kind of act as laws when Congress does not have time to.
    Here there is a federal statute making standards and the EPA is breaking with precedent and saying that states can not have an exemption to make stricter standards.
    There is the the issue of Federal Law preemption. Also the states can challenge the procedures the EPA used to make the rules.
    I urge commmentors to be cautious. Federal Law preemption is a complicated field. States have an enormous amount of rights to do things even when he federal government does things. Federal preemption does not apply to all cases. This is not a clear winner or loser case in fact this case will probably go to the Supreme Court on multiple issues before it is all done.
    I am not sure how the minimum wage is done but the federal government either may have no opinion on whether states can go higher, they may explicitly provide for it, or the states may have claimed preemption does not apply in this area.
    @avantartist: I don’t think the law is written in a way where people will have to throw out their new cars by 2020 – it is written in a way that all new cars sold will have to meet the new standard. So no you will not have to lease cars just to buy a new one with new standars.
    The CA law is probably written in a way where this is less of problem. For example – it may say if you sell a car in CA it has to have these standards. It probably does not control if you drive in from another state on a trip or something it has to meet these standards. Though you do bring up an issue which will be one of the major positions of the US gov.

  24. num1skeptic says:

    i’m behind this all the way. the fed’s have been dragging their feet on this too long. too many in congress know that the problems of the future won’t effect them because they’ll be dead. we need younger leaders. i’m voting obama. an experienced politician is just an experienced liar. give me someone new with some fresh ideas. we need a change, and we needed it yesterday.

  25. canerican says:

    I agree with Schwarzenegger, not President Bush on this one. California will hurt their own economy only, a Federal “solution” to the unproven theory of man made global warming will just hurt the whole country.
    Say bye bye to your hay-day CA!

  26. clevershark says:

    It’s funny how the language of so-called “intelligent design” advocates has ironically evolved into something used to downplay any idea on the very basis that doing something about it will cause a certain degree of economic inconvenience for people.

    You can imagine people like CANERICAN at the doctor’s office — “chemo will make me weak, so I will choose not to believe in your ‘theory of cancer'”.

  27. num1skeptic says:

    @canerican: “unproven theory of man made global warming”.

    interesting. i for one believe in the preservation of our planet. i don’t have to wait to see the final result to believe that global warming is real. its common sense. i think even the most basic individual would agree that global warming or not polution is polution and it effects us all. hence the spike in asthma in children in recent years.

  28. GinaLouise says:


    Geez, what Republican red state / bastion of prosperity do you hail from? Mississippi? West Virginny? I’m sure your state leaves us poor pinko Californians in the dust in terms of jobs and GDP.

  29. SoCalGNX says:

    We Californians are the master race and our Governator has spoken!!

  30. barty says:

    @hotrodmetal: I agree completely.

    We don’t want/need CAs emission laws elsewhere in the country. The cost/benefit ratio just isn’t there for all the crap you have to go through with California’s draconian emissions testing program. Manufacturers have been building progressively cleaner running cars for years now, but CA wants to impose their own level of environmental extremism that serves mainly to drive up the cost of a vehicle, reduce its fuel efficiency (CA emissions cuts about 1-2 mpg from a vehicle) while providing little tangible benefits at the tailpipe. My farts probably release more pollution than what CA emissions saves vs the other states in the country. We haven’t jumped on the bandwagon because we don’t have a government run by a bunch of enviro-nazis that base their decisions more on fear-mongering and feel good policies than hard numbers and facts.

    If you wonder why certain fuel efficient vehicles never see the light of day here in the US, look to California and the other states that impose their emissions regulations. Many manufacturers just don’t think its worth it to bring a DI (direct injection) diesel that gets 40-50mpg because of the added cost of complying with our regulations just makes them unsaleable here. DI diesels produce less pollution than the old, stinky, smoky, diesels of yore, but we’re so obsessed with making cars so clean that you can suck on their tailpipes that we keep plugging along with technology that results in more fossil fuels being burned. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that a less fuel efficient vehicle naturally releases more pollutants than a more fuel efficient one.

  31. mac-phisto says:

    here’s what bugs me: the feds tie highway money to emissions programs in the states with the highest levels of pollution. when connecticut suspended their emissions program (due to private contractor fraud), the feds pulled all their money for road improvements.

    when i lived in pennsylvania, i didn’t need emissions testing…they still receive federal funds for road construction.

    i don’t think it’s fair to tell a state that they need to work harder at improving their air quality than other states, but handcuffing them from regulating one of the biggest causes of air pollution.

    @hotrodmetal: you’re argument isn’t rational. many of us are given a hobson’s choice when it comes to transportation – driving is our only option.

  32. Skiffer says:

    I’m just hoping California falls into the Pacific by 2020…

  33. mac-phisto says:

    @canerican: not everything is about global warming.


  34. dodonnell says:

    Ah, Ahnold, do you have a sneaky way to get around the “must be a natural U.S. citizen to become president” hidden up your sleeve?

  35. azntg says:

    I got a good chuckle when I saw a video clip of Schwarzenegger saying in a press conference, something to the effect of: “I thought the EPA stood for the Environmental Protection Agency, not the Environmental Destruction Agency.”

  36. rbilotta says:

    With regards to federal vs. state issue, generally federal law preempts state law. Federal legislative powers however, have to act directly on the people, Congress cannot commandeer state government to do its bidding. Most of Congress’ powers come from interstate commerce clause in the Constitution, in which Congress has broad deference to enact laws. From what I’ve seen in statements made by EPA, they are saying that emissions affects all the states, such that this is an area of federal government action and not state action. Of course this is debatable.

  37. gingerCE says:

    I@dodonnell: Not to get too political, but I would probably vote for him if he could run for pres. over the choices we have now. Sad to say.

    That being said, I think CA and the other states are right and would win the lawsuit, but I hate to see the money/timepower go towards this lawsuit. Because it would be dragged by appeal after appeal–until it’s finally 2020 and Bush’s federal bill becomes law. Sigh.

  38. trujunglist says:


    Gahaha, that’s great. I love those witty one liners, like he’s living permanently in Kindergarden Cop.

  39. says:

    I am so sick of all this global warming BS! It is a natural change… CO2 is not pollution… plants need it to live…

    Oh and all you hippies pushing the hydrogen fuel cell cars… Water vapor is a worse “greenhouse” gas than CO2. It conducts heat much better.

  40. theblackdog says:

    Maryland is considering joining CA in suing as well. I’m all for it.

  41. AnnC says:

    @gingerCE: Or until the current administration ends in 2009. I doubt a Democrat run White House will deny the waiver but I don’t know what any of the Republican candidates have said about this issue.

  42. Falconfire says:

    @JPropaganda: That was pre-Regan Republicans. The last 27 years have seen republicans who spend more than the Democrats who they claim spend tons of money. In fact the only president in the last 27 years only Clinton has had a balanced budget that resulted in a surplus that was paying down the national debt.

    What really cause the shift in policy was big business and Christian conservatism taking over the party that was once about fiscal conservatism over anything else. You will never see a true pre 80’s version of the Republican party anymore, as it would have to be part of a third party, and we all know how well those do.

  43. Voyou_Charmant says:

    You really can’t make this a partisan issue.

    1) Arnold is a Republican (but somewhat progressive to say the least)

    2) The Bush admin is Republican

    3) The EPA established by a Republican (damn liberal tree hugger Nixon!)

    4) An issue of “states rights”, a classic Republican talking point/platform.

    5) A federal bureaucracy imposing its will on state and local government. Another classic concern of Republicans.

    Its golden, if you ask me.

  44. Monkey4Sale says: I would much rather have electric cars personally, or solar (if they could get some decent speed, and I didn’t live in Oregon). Either way though, why does it hurt to save money?

  45. hotrodmetal says:

    Really, you need to put the whole system on trial. If it’s really about emissions, you would make the sacrifice to live closer to work, shop closer to home, demand more efficient public transportation through civic design, and consume less.

    You don’t have a choice but to drive in CA? Gimme a break. You’re the one with the choice.

    Most people talk about the environmental issue, but rarely practice it. When you get the urge to use any modern convenience device that consumes energy, think about whether you can truly live without it or not.

    Hypocrytical people say they don’t have a choice, and continue in the same fashion. They feel good about themselves though, because they are buying into the “green” lifestyle.




  46. Copper says:

    If California wants to set higher standards, then I say let them. Anyone been to Los Angeles and seen the air? It’s their choice to try to fix it. If they wanted Texas to follow, I’d say no. Our air is pretty clean, considering the majority of the vehicles on the road are big, gas-guzzling trucks.

    I’d vote for Arnold. Just like Demolition Man. I think he does have some sort of way around the natural citizen to be present law.

  47. meeroom says:

    @HotRodmetal: You really seem to enjoy speaking for everyone. I consider myself an environmentalist. I lobbied for a home office position to save myself an hour commute, I bought a fuel efficient car, am considering having solar panels put on my house, and have written my representatives to improve the public transportation system in my state.
    But since you made assumptions about people like me, I’m going to follow your example and make a bunch of assumptions about you. You’re a selfish, arrogant redneck who isn’t educated enough to grasp the concept that human overpopulation and industrialization is having an effect on climate. Because making changes would rob you of some fun and convenience, you want to lump people who are trying to make change into a group so you feel better about your lifestyle and can continue being a consumer in every sense of the word.

  48. arcticJKL says:

    All California has to do is pass a law with min. standards for any car sold or registered in the state.
    (and watch more people leave)

    The federal government can’t sue them to stop it.

  49. hotrodmetal says:

    You are the exception to the rule & we all applaud your sacrifices in life.

    I agree with you that there are real consequenses to the over industrialization mess that we have. It is obvious. Tailpipe emissions & fuel efficiency are a minor issue, but an important catalyst for other discussions.

    Wouldn’t you agree that people have a choice? Especially in transportation?

    Don’t you find it sad that a lot of people that consider themselves “environmentalists” really don’t practice it? Are these the people you identify yourself with?

    I wouldn’t identify myself with the “environmentalists” just because it is fashionable.

    I’m really okay with your explosive response too. At least you’re angry enough to actually do what you say your going to do. Right?

    Have a nice day!


  50. RvLeshrac says:



    All of these “Obama needs experience” idiots need to stop voting. Every time I see one of the posters, it makes me want to vote for him.


    I’d vote for Arnold. He’s far more of a real leader than Bush. Real leaders surround themselves with quality advisors and change their decisions as the situation changes.

    It is painfully obvious that Bush still hasn’t read that copy of Sun Tzu.

  51. RvLeshrac says:


    Yes, but *your* solution is to stick your head in the sand until it is too late.

    There’s a breaking point, you know. Your suggestion seems to be that we wait until it is no longer possible to do anything about the human impact on the earth’s climate, and *then* start thinking about solutions.

    The longer we wait, the more intensely painful it becomes, much like cancer. If you excise a tumor early, you can avoid death. If you ‘wait and see what happens,’ it spreads until no treatment in the world can help you.

  52. meeroom says:

    Darn you for being so reasonable!

  53. hotrodmetal says:

    My solution is simple: Consume Less. Put the system on trial. Localize your community: This can mean redesign it for foot travel. It’s not too late to change your way of consuming/traveling/etc..

    You want cleaner cars? Scared of emissions? Do what You can about it. Using a half hearted piece of legislation to do that is a joke.


  54. yagisencho says:

    Good for Arnold. Good for California. And if it sticks, good for all Americans.

    Or would the Bush apologists like to return to the pre-1977 world of unregulated fuel mileage and leaded gasoline? If so, China awaits your visa applications.

  55. ninjatales says:

    @hotrodmetal: Alright you dumb fck. People like to drive myself included and I would think that would include you to some extent. We’re not going to walk 5-10 miles to work everyday and taking the bus is out of the question because of all the stops it has to make before reaching the destination.

    If you really think having more efficient cars is a bad thing for our nation, you can go back and live in the carburetor days. Not everybody’s willing to pay $100 for gas everyday.

  56. hotrodmetal says:

    Whats wrong with pedal power? Or taking the Bus? Or walking a mile to work? Are you against the greater benefit of using public transportation given the inconvenient stops?

    The vehicles we have can be a lot better in efficiency, but consumers don’t demand them, and they don’t want to pay the high cost for them.

    More efficient cars are better for everyone, and when the general public demands that transportation to be built to an efficient standard, instead of a price, we will have cleaner emissions.

    You are right, not everyone will pay a high cost for gas everyday. They also will not go out of their way to consume less.


  57. Timbojones says:

    @Monkey4Sale: On electric cars, check out [] On the horizon of battery technology, a new silicon lithium material that will hold 10 times as much charge as current materials.

  58. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @canerican: Did you see the earlier comment about the skies over the San Fernando valley being bright green? I don’t care what you think about global warming, that shit ain’t right.

  59. RvLeshrac says:


    90% of the US does not have the option of using any other form of transit. My mother has to travel around 20 miles to and from work – the nearest town is 10 miles away. My father lives at his job and only goes home on the weekends, because there are no comparable positions (read: insurance) where they live now (the cost of living is so much lower that it pays to travel the 200 miles each week).

    You can’t ‘redesign your community.’ That is almost completely out of your control (barring a massive tidal wave or earthquake).

    We can’t take the bus in Atlanta because, well, it barely goes anywhere useful – unless you’re going to a sports game. When it DOES go somewhere useful, it takes an extra two hours to get where you need to go.

    Biking or walking a mile or two to work? I have no problem with that. The problem is when a decent job is located a four hour bus ride away – on the other side of town. It is expensive to move, and even more expensive when you realise that ‘in-town’ apartments, with localized shops, cost 4-5x as much as suburban apartments.

  60. ninjatales says:

    @RvLeshrac: Very valid points but unfortunately, people like Hotrodmetal are so out of touch with reality that they just assume having more gas efficient cars is a bad thing for our nation.

    His insane idea to walk or bike in snow and ice just speaks volumes on the type of ignoramus that he is. Public transportation is useful only in larger cities. In smaller cities/towns, it’s almost non-existent.

    The government can raise taxes and spend trillions of dollars to build better public transportation in addition to the costs to maintain them or have the car makers do the hard work.

  61. hotrodmetal says:

    You didn’t read my post. I think more efficient cars are a benefit for everyone.

    Do you really think that some lame government legislation tug-o-war between CA and the EPA will really do anything except be a sideshow for politics in an election year?

    Folks like yourself would never go outside your comfort zone to make anything happen, based on all of your reasons of why you can’t do any changes. You expect it all just to happen by everyone else, or say “Oh Well” when it doesn’t.

    You will adjust to the system set by others & complain when it doesn’t suit you, but you will never do anything beyond that.

    We need people like you to keep paying taxes blindly & buy whatever is put in front of you. It’s great for the overall economy.

  62. coren says:

    @ninjatales: Please. If everyone took buses, or even more people did, there’d be faster and better routes that didn’t have as many stops. And even if it does take a while, bring a book, some paper work, music, your laptop, whatever. Get something done on the ride, you sure can’t in a car.

    As for the article, is Bush retar…er…n/m. But seriously, if a state wants to crack down and get it done faster, LET THEM. How this is anything but good for the environment, I can’t figure out.

  63. Copper says:

    @coren: It takes me five minutes to drive to school. If I took the bus, I’d have to leave 45 minutes early. If more people in Corpus Christi used public transportation and we added more buses, it still might take me 20 minutes to get to school because I wouldn’t be the last stop. Either way, no thanks.

  64. ELC says:

    For those who want to attack canerican and those who think like them – maybe you should wait to do your full frontal assault until a majority of the world’s scientific community has their chance to be heard, instead of just the politically motivated: