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E-M:/ Opinion: California's Message to. . .Michigan?

Title: Opinion: California's Message to. . .Michigan?
OK, so we don't have Pataki, but maybe we'll do better one day soon.  The message, of course, is that Michigan and its host industry are followers.  Michigan's latest NextEnergy plan may help to meet the challenge, but lets remember that without California (and New York?), there would be little meaningful public policy pushing for CO2 reductions in this industry.

Charles Griffith
(also see http://www.cleancarcampaign.org/20020715update.shtml)

July 24, 2002
Opinion: California's Message to George Pataki
Gov. Pataki should follow the example of Gov. Davis of California by requiring automakers to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide.
Full Story: http://www.nytimes.com/2002/07/24/opinion/24WED4.html?tntemail1
California's Message to George Pataki

Gov. Gray Davis of California signed a landmark bill on Monday that for the first time will require automakers to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas believed to be largely responsible for global warming. Though the law applies only to cars sold in California, it will force the manufacturers to develop fuel-efficient technologies that all cars can use. This ripple effect will be even greater if other states follow California's lead, as the Clean Air Act allows them to do.

One governor who could sustain the momentum is George Pataki of New York. Mr. Pataki regards the environment as one of his strong suits, and indeed he has compiled a commendable list of achievements. Global warming, however, presents an unusually stern test, since it means taking on not only Detroit but also the utilities, big producers of carbon dioxide. Last year Mr. Pataki appointed a special task force to give him ideas on what to do about global warming, and a draft report is now on his desk. The report recommends state action to reduce tailpipe emissions, much as California has done, as well as big reductions in power plant emissions. Mr. Pataki is hospitable to the idea of cleaning up the utilities, but he's said little about automobile emissions.

Assemblyman Thomas DiNapoli, a Democrat and key player in Albany, will shortly introduce legislation that would mimic the California law and require the same fuel-efficient cars to be available to New Yorkers. It's hard to see why Mr. Pataki would not want to support this cause, especially in an election year. He could inspire other governors, while sending a much-needed message to the Bush administration, which has shown no interest in the issue. Moreover, there should be no political downside to taking a leadership role on one of the world's most pressing environmental problems.

Charles Griffith, Auto Project Director
Ecology Center                                              
117 N. Division, Ann Arbor, MI  48104
Ph: 734/663-2400, x116  /-2414  fx.       
Email:  charlesg@ecocenter.org

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