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California looks to tighten pollution limits

Thu, 26 Jan 2012 00:00:00 -0800

The California Air Resources Board is scheduled to vote on Thursday on whether to adopt stricter clean-air standards for the state proposed by the Advanced Clean Car program.

The program's proposal combines the control of soot, smog-causing pollutants and greenhouse-gas emissions into a package that may be required for model years 2017 through 2025. According to the program, the rules aim to clean up conventionally powered cars, deliver more zero-emissions cars and ensure that a fueling infrastructure is available.

When fully implemented, the group projects that annual fuel costs will be reduced by 25 percent with a savings of $22 billion by 2025. Additionally, greenhouse gases will be cut by 34 percent, while the monthly cost of a car will go down when fuel costs are included.

The air resources board said it also hopes that the rules will add some jobs to the state's depressed economy.

The proposed package of regulations is designed to deliver:

-- A savings of $5 billion in operating costs in 2025 for California drivers; it will grow to $10 billion in 2030.

-- A 75 percent reduction in smog-forming emissions by 2025.

-- Zero-emission or plug-in-hybrid vehicles accounting for one in seven new cars sold in 2025.

-- A total of 1.4 million zero-emission and plug-in vehicles on the road in California by 2025.

-- A reduction of 52 million tons of greenhouse gases by 2025.

-- A cumulative reduction of more than 870 million metric tons of greenhouse gases through 2050.

The state's Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative has been helping the cause by working to make sure that California is ready if the changes occur, so that owning and operating an electric vehicle is easy for consumers.

The California proposals are separate from the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard, which was increased to 54.5 mpg by 2025 last July.

“These rules will make California the advanced-car capital of the world,” said James Goldstene, CARB executive officer, “driving innovation, patents and technology that will generate thousands of jobs here and set the stage for us to compete in the global clean-car marketplace.”

By Jake Lingeman