This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

June 16, 2004

California Proposes Cuts in Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) released a draft staff report on June 14th that examines potential regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles in the state. In 2002, the state enacted a law that gives CARB until the end of this year to develop and adopt regulations that "achieve the maximum feasible and cost-effective reduction of greenhouse gas emissions" from passenger vehicles. The law did not set specific standards. The new CARB report proposes regulations that phase in reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from new cars and light trucks, starting with small reductions in 2009 and increasing to a nearly 30 percent reduction by 2014.

Several of the technologies examined in the CARB report address fuel economy: The report finds the technologies that could achieve significant reductions at favorable costs include improved engine technologies, turbocharging combined with smaller engines, and automated manual transmissions. But the report also notes ways to cut emissions of refrigerants from cars' air conditioning systems, including improved compressors, more leak-proof systems, and alternative refrigerants. According to CARB, nearly all the combinations of technologies examined for the report provided reductions in lifetime operating costs that exceed the added retail price of the vehicles caused by the new technology. See the CARB press release or go directly to the full report (PDF 1.1 MB). Download Acrobat Reader.