California Senate's Bill to Cut Tailpipe Exhaust Could Force Higher Fuel Efficiency Standards
The California Senate has passed the nation's first bill to limit carbon dioxide emissions from vehicle exhaust - a bow to fears of global warming, and a move automakers say might force them to sell more fuel-efficient vehicles, according to an Associated Press story by Jim Wasserman.
Environmentalists and many senators, hoping to see the idea spread to other states, see the move as a way to get around the federal government's failure to impose tougher fuel mileage standards and reduce greenhouse gases. "Our federal government has let us down by failing to sign the Kyoto Protocol," Democratic state Sen. Debra Bowen said. "California should take the lead when the federal government refused to do what most Californians support."
A coalition of 13 global carmakers calls that "enormously problematic." "We view it as nothing more than a California CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standard," said Kris Kiser, vice president of state affairs for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers based in Washington, DC. "It's a back-door attempt at mileage standards. That should be handled in Washington."