The Environmental Protection Agency today granted California the right to set its own strict emissions standards, an about-face from Bush-era policies, Reuters reports. In a sly rebuke to the previous administration, the EPA said the move rested on a “traditional legal interpretation of the Clean Air Act.” California first requested permission to go beyond federal standards in 2005; the waiver was denied in 2008.
“This decision puts the law and science first,” said EPA administrator Lisa Jackson. “After review of the scientific findings, and another comprehensive round of public engagement, I have decided this is the appropriate course under the law.” President Obama directed the agency to revisit the issue shortly after his inauguration, and the decision jibes with his plan to reduce emissions nationwide. (Read more EPA stories.)