Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today announced that the Committee approved S. 2555, "The Reducing Global Warming Pollution from Vehicles Act of 2008," a bill that instructs the President to sign the California waiver so that California and other states can proceed with laws to improve air quality problems from cars.

On December 19, 2007, EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson denied California's request for the waiver - the first time in history that EPA had ever denied outright a request from California for a waiver to do more to cut air pollution.

Senator Boxer said, "Administrator Johnson's decision to deny the waiver was not supported by the facts, by the law, by the science, or by precedent. Just this week we learned of more evidence that the Bush White House intervened to kill the waiver for California. Today's action in the Environment Committee brings us one step closer to giving a green light to California and the other states so they can begin tackling global warming pollution from vehicles."

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), an original cosponsor of the bill, said, "The time has come to take the decision on California's waiver out of the hands of the EPA. The senior leadership of the EPA has failed to demonstrate that it has the integrity or independence to make decisions based on sound science. So this legislation would help right the wrong that blocked California from implement its groundbreaking law to reduce tailpipe emissions. Let me thank Senator Boxer for her leadership as Chairman in getting this legislation approved by the Committee."

Fourteen other states - Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington -- have adopted California's standards, or are in the process of adopting them. Another four - Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Utah -- are moving toward adopting the California standards. All together, those 19 states represent more than 152,000,000 Americans - a majority of the U.S. population.