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Washington State May Join CA in Regulating CO2

Seattle Post Intelligencer. Washington state may follow California’s lead in passing a bill that regulates CO2 emissions from vehicles.

The chairman of the state House Transportation Committee, Rep. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, will introduce the bill next year.

“We have an issue of global warming, but, more importantly locally, our own air—what we breathe,” said Murray, adding lawmakers have been told that Puget Sound-area air quality is deteriorating. “I think this is an opportunity to address both issues.”

Murray and his supporters are emboldened by the initial conclusions of a Puget Sound Clean Air Agency committee that recommends enactment of the tougher standards. The committee, which includes environmental groups, trade associations and businesses such as Weyerhaeuser and Boeing, will complete its final report by the end of the month.

The new standards would be in effect for cars sold in 2009. This is good news—although it still has a long way to go. The California bill (AB 1493) was passed and chaptered in July 2002. Let’s hope that Washington-state air regulators and lawmakers can leverage the work done by the California Air Resources Board to implement the mandates of the bill—assuming it passes—more quickly. I’ll be interested to see the final report mentioned above.

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