Editor's note: TheStreet.com welcomes a diversity of perspectives as part of our guest contributor program. If you would like to offer your own commentary on this or other business and economic issues, please contact the editor.By Dr. James Fine and Derek Walker of the Environmental Defense Fund. During President Obama's nationally televised address to the joint session of Congress in February, he signaled his intention to fulfill a campaign promise to combat climate change by calling on Congress to "send me legislation that places a market-based cap on carbon pollution." Obama also ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reconsider its Bush-era rejection of a federal Clean Air Act waiver request by California and 13 other states seeking to regulate global warming pollution from cars. The EPA expected to issue its decision by May. These 14 states, plus three others that plan to adopt the standard, account for nearly half of the American market for cars and light trucks. They are poised to dramatically reduce one of our nation's leading sources of global warming pollution. In fact, tailpipe emissions from cars, light trucks and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) represent about 17% of greenhouse gas emissions nationwide and nearly 30% of greenhouse gas emissions in California. They will continue to grow unless strong action is taken to control them. Detroit automakers have spent years fighting California's clean cars law, and before it was passed they spent decades utterly stonewalling progress at the federal level. The California standards will reduce emissions from passenger cars by 18% by 2020 and 27% by 2030 while allowing for flexible, fleet-wide compliance. The Wall Street Journal published a story last year about California's place in the "new gold rush' that is resulting from its emphasis on the environment, helping to create new green industries in the state. California is home to five of the top "clean tech" cities, according to SustainLane.com. The vast majority of green venture capital funding is flowing to startups in California. Chip companies are investing in battery and fuel cell technologies to power zero-emission and low-emission vehicles while other renewable energy companies are setting up shop there to leverage the unparalleled entrepreneurial talent, skilled workforce and friendly regulatory setting.