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Texans could get California Emissions


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Texans might drive cars designed for California attitudes if federal regulators agree to permit state-by-state auto emissions standards, a prospect that emerged Monday in President Barack Obama’s first major environmental policy action.

Obama ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to review the Bush administration’s refusal to allow California and 13 other states to set the nation’s toughest vehicle emissions standards.

During a ceremony in the White House East Room, Obama signed a directive requiring the agency immediately to review that December 2007 decision denying California permission to limit carbon dioxide emissions from cars and trucks.

“The federal government must work with, not against, states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Obama said.

State Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, who pushed unsuccessfully for tougher car emissions standards in the 2007 legislative session, says his measure may have a better chance this session now that one key obstacle — federal opposition — is likely to disappear.

“It’s an uphill battle to get the votes in the House and in the Senate,” Ellis acknowledged. “But on my side in the Senate, members who in the past were very reluctant to consider environmental legislation have gotten much more educated, as I’ve seen in private conversations.”

Ellis’ legislation would adopt all of California’s proposed emissions standards, as the 13 other states already have and several more are considering.

[Houston Chronicle article]

Bruce

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