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Air Board's Unchanged Goal: Zero Emissions

November 24, 2002

Re "A Diesel-Powered Intrusion," by Marc Haefele, Opinion, Nov. 17: In 1998, the California Air Resources Board passed new, more-stringent regulations for passenger vehicles. Auto manufacturers complained that they would not be able to sell diesel passenger vehicles when the rules took effect in 2004.

Nonetheless, the ARB has held to the new rules, leaving auto makers with a simple choice: If they produce diesel passenger vehicles that meet our emissions standards for 2004 and beyond they can sell those vehicles in California. If they can't meet those standards they can't sell diesel passenger vehicles here.

Haefele misconstrued my remarks that we might see diesel passenger cars being sold again here within the next five years. Those remarks were based on the progress auto manufacturers appear to be making in bringing diesel vehicles up to California's tough 2004 emission standards. Only time will tell if the manufacturers can meet that challenge.

I have not chosen diesel or any other fuel as the solution to California's smog problems. The board's goal for the future of California's passenger vehicles remains unchanged: zero emissions -- whether that is achieved by fuel cells, batteries or other technology.

Alan Lloyd

Chairman, California ARB


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