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As Prepared for Administrator Johnson, Conference Call Regarding the President's Executive Order on Energy Security and Climate Change, Washington, D.C.

05/14/2007
This is Steve Johnson, Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. I want to thank you all for joining us on this call.

Earlier today, President Bush signed an Executive Order directing EPA, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Energy and the Department of Agriculture to coordinate on the development of possible regulatory actions to address the emissions from mobile sources that contribute to global climate change.

Following this direction, and put simply, the Bush Administration is taking the first regulatory step to address greenhouse gas emissions from cars.

On April 2, 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in Massachusetts v. EPA that the Clean Air Act provided EPA the statutory authority to regulate greenhouse emissions from new vehicles if I determine, in my judgment, whether such emissions endanger public health and welfare under the Clean Air Act.

Today, the President has responded to the Supreme Court’s landmark decisions by calling on EPA and our federal partners to move forward and take the first regulatory step to craft a proposal to control greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles.

This rulemaking will be complex and will require a sustained commitment from the Administration to complete it in a timely fashion.

While the President’s “Twenty in Ten” plan, which would increase the supply of renewable and alternative fuel and reform the CAFE standards, will serve as a guide, we have not reached any conclusions about what any final rule will look like.

In most instances, by federal law, the Environmental Protection Agency must follow a specific process and take several steps before issuing a final regulation.

This is a complex issue, and EPA will ensure that any possible rulemaking impacting the emissions from all new mobile sources throughout the entire United States will adhere to federal law.

We will solicit comment on a proposed rule from a broad array of stakeholders and other interested members of the public. Our ultimate decision must reflect a thorough consideration of public comments and an evaluation of how it fits within the scope of the Clean Air Act.

Only after EPA has issued a proposal and considered public comments can it finalize a regulation.

Today’s announcement reflects our commitment to move forward expeditiously and responsibly with the regulatory process.

While this is the first regulatory step, it builds on the Bush Administration’s unparalleled financial, international and domestic commitments to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.

Since 2001, EPA and the entire Administration have invested more than $37 billion to study climate change science, promote energy-efficient and carbon dioxide-reducing technologies, and fund tax incentive programs. As you all know, that’s more money than any other country in the world has spent to address this global challenge.

Under the President’s leadership, our nation is making significant progress in tackling greenhouse gas emissions.

According to EPA data reported to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, U.S. greenhouse gas intensity declined by 1.9 percent in 2003, by 2.4 percent in 2004, and by 2.4 percent in 2005. Put another way, from 2004 to 2005, the U.S. economy increased by 3.2 percent while greenhouse gas emissions increased by only 0.8 percent.

In another study, the International Energy Agency reported that from 2000 to 2004, U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide from fuel combustion grew by 1.7 percent, while our economy expanded by nearly 10 percent. Yet, during this time of growth, the United States actually reduced its carbon dioxide intensity by 7.2 percent.

Our aggressive and practical strategy is working. America is on track to meet the President's goal to reduce greenhouse gas intensity by 18 percent by 2012.

By taking the first regulatory step to address greenhouse gas emissions from cars, we are maintaining America’s unparalleled leadership in addressing global climate change while strengthening our energy security.

Thank you.