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Canada, Washington State Look to Stricter Emissions Standards

March 24, 2005

The Washington State House of Representatives adopted California’s strict automotive emissions standards last week, according to a report in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The bill would require that all new cars and light-duty trucks sold in and after 2016 adhere to stricter emissions standards. The proposed law would reduce carbon dioxide emissions in new cars by 30 percent, 20 percent fewer toxic pollutants and 15 percent to 20 percent fewer smog-causing pollutants than current federal standards. The House bill now heads to the Senate.Eight other states, including New York, have adopted California's standards. In Canada, automobile manufacturers and the Canadian government have reached an agreement this week requiring reduced greenhouse-gas emissions from all cars sold in the country, according to news reports. The voluntary pact comes after top Canadian officials threatened to copy the California emissions law. Automakers are challenging that law in court, arguing that California is attempting to set fuel standards for the entire country, and contending that only the federal government has the authority to do that.Canada's agreement will require car companies to cut tailpipe emissions of the gases by 5.3 million tons by 2010. That is roughly the same amount of reductions that would be accomplished by improving the fuel efficiency of all cars sold in Canada by 25 percent. The agreement, however, does not specifically demand that automakers improve fuel economy to meet the target.Canada is bound under the recently enacted Kyoto Protocol to reduce its overall greenhouse-gas emissions to roughly 6 percent below 1990 levels by 2012. But Canada's emissions have increased by nearly 20 percent since 1990, forcing the nation's leaders to take aggressive new steps to reduce the exhaust, according to the LA Times report.
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