The Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee has voted to overturn the Environmental Protection Agency's controversial denial of California's greenhouse gas vehicle law.
The law would have regulated carbon emissions from vehicles in order to curb the pollution causing global warming. A dozen or more states had pledged to follow California's lead, but the EPA first had to grant the state a Clean Air Act waiver allowing it to set rules more strict than federal guidelines.
The long-winding legal path of the law started in 2004, stopped at the Supreme Court in 2007 so the EPA could be told it has the authority to regulate greenhouse gases, continued on through a Congressional energy bill that upped fuel economy standards across the country and seemingly ended with the EPA rejecting California's bid to pioneer a new path to a cooler future.
Now, the Senate is poised to re-open the debate about states rights, environmental regulation and how the U.S. should go about regulating carbon dioxide.
Vehicle emissions account for roughly one-third of the U.S. greenhouse gas pollution, and the U.S. has been the world leader in carbon dioxide pollution (though China is taking the crown now) for decades.
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