California V Carmakers in CO2 Emissions Fight

Arguments from both sides of the carbon dioxide debate.

Published: 04-Jan-2008

The auto industry has made a great show of promising to produce cleaner, more fuel efficient vehicles, yet it vehemently opposes an effort by California and 15 other states to restrict carbon dioxide emissions. Why?

Automakers offer many of the same arguments they made in response to rules mandating seat belts, catalytic converters and other changes that made cars cleaner and safer. It'll cost too much, they say. The technology isn't there yet. It'll deny consumers some choices in what they buy.

But they're also arguing that states have no right to regulate carbon dioxide emissions, a point the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cited in denying California the waiver required to adopt its own tailpipe emissions rules under the Clean Air Act of 1970. They're also attacking the science supporting the state's proposal to cut greenhouse gas emissions about 30 percent by 2016.

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