"EPA Gives California Emissions Waiver"

"The Environmental Protection Agency will announce today that it is granting California's request to impose tough restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks -- reversing the Bush administration's position and opening the way for the state to take the lead on global-warming policy.

California developed the standards in 2004 but was barred from implementing them.

EPA officials say granting California the waiver from federal standards gives the state wide latitude to promulgate stricter rules, restoring a 40-year interpretation of the Clean Air Act.

'It preserves California's role as a leader on clean air policy,' particularly on motor vehicles, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said in an interview. 'It feels good to know that we are able to move past -- address -- this issue, responding to the president's call.'

President Obama had criticized the Bush EPA's denial and, shortly after his inauguration, ordered the agency to revisit it."

Jim Tankersley reports for the Los Angeles Times June 30, 2009.

Source: LA Times, 06/30/2009