Greenhouse Measure Pushed

SACRAMENTO -- In a last-ditch duel with the oil and auto industries, environmental groups are trying to pass a bill that would make California the first state to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from cars.

The measure would order the Air Resources Board to lower the amount of carbon dioxide -- one of several greenhouse gases -- spewing from the tailpipes of California's 29 million cars and light trucks, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

If the bill doesn't pass the Assembly before the end of the month, it dies, the report said.

The oil industry and the nation's 14 automakers oppose the bill, arguing that its instructions to the air board are too vague and that California is precluded from acting by federal law.

Environmental groups and other backers say that California should take the lead on limiting carbon dioxide emissions from autos. Although President Clinton signed the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, committing the United States to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2012, the U.S. Senate has not approved the treaty, the report said.

President Bush opposes regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant. California, the world's fifth-largest economy, is responsible for 7 percent of global carbon dioxide, according to a legislative analysis of the bill.
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