California Clean Air Rules Key to Hybrid,Fuel Cell Debate

California regulators and environmental groups say there's no need to wait to battle the state's legendary air pollution.

Published: 20-Feb-2003

DON THOMPSON
Associated Press
WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. - It's no coincidence that General Motors Corp. chose California to showcase a fleet of futuristic low pollution vehicles it says will one day change the planet.

Nor that eight foreign and domestic automakers and four of the world's largest oil companies are teamed just across the Sacramento River from the state Capitol in an unusually cooperative venture to develop and test hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles.

Once again, California's pacesetting regulations are at the center of a national debate, this time over the role of increasingly affordable and popular hybrid vehicles. But GM is among automakers fighting California air pollution and auto efficiency standards while promising an eventual replacement for the internal combustion engine.

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