California Adopts Nation's First-Ever Global Warming Standard for Cars

Statement by Roland Hwang, NRDC Vehicles Policy Director

LOS ANGELES (September 24, 2004) -- The California Air Resources Board (CARB) today voted unanimously to adopt the nation's first ever regulation to reduce global warming pollution from cars. The new standard requires tailpipe emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants to be reduced by 22 percent by the 2012 model year and 30 percent by the 2016 model year. A 2002 bill (AB 1493, Pavley) required CARB to adopt the standards by the end of this year.
Following is a statement by Roland Hwang, vehicles policy director at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council).

"California made history today by adopting the most important motor vehicle pollution requirement since the catalytic converter in the 1970s. The air board's decision will be remembered as a major milestone in the effort to fight global warming.

"The new tailpipe standard will accelerate the adoption of existing clean car technologies and spur new innovations in the race to build better, cleaner cars. It means Californians will have more choices across the full spectrum of vehicles than ever before.

"The only real bump left on the road is automakers' threats to sue to overturn the global warming standard. It would be foolish for them to follow through with their threat. If they do, they will lose in the court of law and in the court of public opinion. California stands on firm legal ground to regulate air pollution, as it's been doing for more than 40 years.

"The Big Three can't afford to alienate consumers in America's largest, most lucrative auto market, consumers who overwhelmingly support the clean car law. And they can't afford to fall further behind their competition in Japan. It's time for the automakers to innovate, not litigate."