USA: California releases final emissions reduction plan
California released its final plan on Friday to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks by about 30% by requiring hundreds of dollars in technology to control air pollution in new cars.
According to Reuters, the plan is the first of its kind among US states and has been closely tracked by car makers as California accounts for nearly 13% of the US auto market and because other states may adopt similar rules.
Auto makers reportedly have said they may sue to block the plan.
The California Air Resources Board said that in the initial phase from 2009 through 2012, the plan calls for regulation requiring technology to reduce emissions by about 25% for cars and light trucks, and by about 18% for larger trucks and sport-utility vehicles, Reuters said.
When it is fully implemented after 2016, the recommended regulation would reduce emissions by up to 34% for cars and light trucks, and by 25% for larger vehicles, the report added.
According to Reuters, the board said in a statement that, in the initial phase, the new rule would add about $US292 to the cost of each car and small truck, and about $308 to the cost of every large pickup and SUV. In the next phase, between 2013 and 2016, it would add an average of $626 per car and $955 per large pickup and SUV.
Environmentalists reportedly said the board could have done more. They applauded the focus on making cars cleaner, but noted the board's plan does not take into account California's growth.
"It's disappointing that the air board didn't go further," Russell Long, executive director of the Bluewater Network environmental group, told Reuters. "Emissions will not decrease because of the increase in vehicles on the road ... We need to reduce emissions on an absolute basis."