Release 04-24      

September 24, 2004


Jerry Martin
Gennet Paauwe
(916) 322-2990
ARB Approves Greenhouse Gas Rule

-- The California Air Resources Board (ARB) today approved a landmark regulation that requires automakers to begin selling vehicles with reduced greenhouse gas emissions by model year 2009.

ARB Chairman, Dr. Alan Lloyd said, "This landmark decision sets a course for California that is likely to be copied throughout the U.S. and other countries. Because of its forward-thinking approach, the ARB has established itself as the world leader in setting motor vehicle pollution control standards. Those standards have led to automotive technologies that dominate the way cars are built today and have significantly cut air pollution's public health risk. This regulation will have the same impact."

The regulation, which the ARB adopted after a marathon public hearing, results from legislation by Assemblywoman Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) and passed in 2002. The historic regulation sets limits on the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that can be released from new passenger cars, SUVs and pickup trucks sold in California starting in model year 2009. The new regulation is based on a state of the art assessment of the various technologies and fuels that can reduce motor vehicle global warming pollutants.

According to ARB staff, the average reduction of greenhouse gases from new California cars and light trucks will be about 22 percent in 2012 and about 30 percent in 2016, compared to today's vehicles. Costs for the added technology needed to meet the rule are expected to average about $325 per vehicle in 2012 and about $1050 per vehicle to comply in 2016. The ARB staff analysis concludes that the new rule will result in savings for vehicle buyers by lowering operating expenses that will more than offset the added costs of the new vehicles and provide an overall cost savings to consumers.

The adoption of this rule makes California the nation's only state that has regulated motor vehicles for their contributions to global climate change. At least seven other states including New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Maine, as well as the nation of Canada, are expected to consider adopting the regulation for their use. If all of those states and Canada adopt the rule, the number of cars required to meet the rule will triple.

In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions the regulation is also expected to cut ozone-forming pollution by about five tons per day (TPD) by 2020.

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.

The energy challenge facing California is real. Every Californian needs to take immediate action to reduce energy consumption. For a list of simple ways you can reduce demand and cut your energy cost, see our website at