California OKs new rules to cut tailpipe emissions

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 27, 2012 3:08 PM
California OKs new rules to cut tailpipe emissions

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - California's powerful air-quality regulator on Friday approved sweeping new rules to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles by requiring automakers to put many more electric and hybrid vehicles on the state's roads.

The regulations, approved unanimously by the state's Air Resources Board at a meeting in Los Angeles, would also support development of an infrastructure for hydrogen fueling stations.

The program is expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 34 percent and cut smog and soot pollutants by 75 percent, in part by putting 1.4 million electric, plug-in and hydrogen vehicles on the Golden State's roads by 2025.

The influential CARB voted on the rules following a two-day hearing that included testimony from automakers, environmentalists, politicians and members of the public.

The rules are part of the state's aggressive plan to reduce climate warming emissions by 80 percent by 2050. California is the biggest U.S. car market and has had the distinction of being able to set policy independent of federal rules, making it over the years into a laboratory for change.

About 40 percent of California's greenhouse gases come from vehicles.

(Reporting By Nichola Groom; Editing by Mark Porter, Gary Hill)