Environment & Science

After years of pressing, California gets to regulate tailpipe greenhouse gas

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The federal government has decided to grant California the right to regulate vehicle tailpipes for greenhouse gas emissions. KPCC’s Molly Peterson reports.

After years of requests, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has given California a waiver to set vehicle emission rules the way it wants.

Once President Obama took office, EPA pulled back its Bush-era denial of California’s request.
The agency says the reversal represents a return to the EPA’s traditional policy of letting states set tougher emissions rules if they want to. It also clears the way for California to move ahead with sweeping plans to control “greenhouse gas” emissions in the state.

Last month, the president proposed a national fuel efficiency standard much like California’s. It would raise gas mileage 40 percent in seven years, which helps reduce “greenhouse gases.” Automakers resisted California’s effort to do something similar, but say they’ll go along with a national standard. California says it won’t propose tightening rules even further for eight years.