Release 04-21      

August 6, 2004


Jerry Martin
Gennet Paauwe
(916) 322-2990
ARB Releases Final Report on Greenhouse Gases Emission Proposal

-- The California Air Resources Board (ARB) staff today released its final report proposing a regulation that limits greenhouse gas emissions from passenger cars and light trucks beginning in 2009.

ARB staff released the report in preparation of a public hearing set for September 23 in Los Angeles. The report contains a series of technology packages that, when used together, can result in reduced emissions greenhouse gases and more efficient vehicle operation. ARB staff expects the technology packages to result in emission reductions of about 25 percent for cars and light trucks and about 18 percent for larger trucks and SUVs during the initial phase of the regulation set for2009 through 2012. ARB staff expects the regulation's mid-term phase to result in emission cuts of up to 34 percent for cars and light trucks and 25 percent for larger vehicles when the rule is fully implemented after 2016.

The new regulation will add about $292 to the costs of cars and small trucks and about $308 to the cost of large pickups and SUVs during the regulation's initial phase (2009-2012). The regulation is expected to add an average of $626 for cars and $955 for large pickups and SUVs during its mid-term phase (2013-2016). The report notes that buyers of new cars after 2009 will regain those added costs through lower operating costs over the vehicle's lifetime.

The final report contains changes from the initial draft proposal released on June 14. Of these changes, the most notable include a slight increase in stringency for passenger cars and smaller trucks and a slight decrease in stringency for heavier pickups and large SUVs. Overall, the change will result in a slightly higher amount of pollution controlled than was forecast in the June 14 draft proposal.

The second major change extends the regulation'stwo phase-in periods from three years each to four years each starting in 2009. This change was made to better fit the planning and development time needed by automakers.

The third major change from the June 14 draft is an increase in the expected cost of mid-term implementation phase to auto makers of about $100 per vehicle compared to the earlier estimate. This change is a reflection of updates to the staff cost estimates and other adjustments made to the proposed regulation.

The ARB proposal is a result of a 2002 law that requires the ARB to adopt regulations to achieve the maximum feasible and cost-effective reduction of motor vehicle emissions of greenhouse gases. The law also requires the ARB to adopt a regulation by 2005 and allows the Legislature one year to review the regulation prior to implementation in 2009. The law forbids the ARB from prohibiting any type of vehicle or from requiring weight reductions of current vehicle models.

Click here for a copy of the report.

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARBís mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.

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