New ‘Clean Car’ Measures May Be Added in California

California’s “Advanced Clean Car” program proposes new laws that would force all car and truck makers to build vehicles that emit only a quarter of the current pollutant level by 2025. The legislation would also require that one of every seven cars sold in the state be a plug-in hybrid, electric or zero emission automobile.

The state is preparing to vote on the matter, with the California Air Resources Board hearing the first testimony later today. The vote can have a wide range of impact, as several other states have adopted California’s smog emission standards in the past, including Washington, New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts.

The standards are a continuation of California’s greenhouse gas emission rules that were put into effect in 2009. The new proposal was designed alongside federal regulators to suit national guidelines. If approved, the new measures will include large reductions in greenhouse gas pollutants beginning in 2015. The rules would largely require a 75% decrease in smog emissions, as well as a 34% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Tom Cackette, deputy director for the California Air Resources Board, explained: “When we did the first greenhouse gas standards, it was war. They sued us in two federal courts. Fortunately, from our viewpoint, they lost. Over that time, with the increase in gas prices, the shake-up in the auto industry brought new management which looked at the future. Where’s our future? It’s not profits next quarter but how do we make a sustainable business.”

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