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State set to require auto emission labels

New California vehicles would have stickers showing the amount of greenhouse gases they produce, starting with the 2009 model year.

February 24, 2007|From Bloomberg News

California is preparing to label new autos to show for the first time the vehicles' annual emissions of so-called greenhouse gases linked to global warming.

The stickers, the first in the U.S., should be approved by the California Air Resources Board by June and should start appearing on 2009 model cars and light trucks, board spokesman Jerry Martin said. The board will hold a hearing next month on the labels.

"They'll probably include some kind of estimate for annual carbon dioxide emissions, for example," Martin said. The labels may be integrated into window stickers required by the Environmental Protection Agency that show fuel economy and exhaust-pollution estimates.

The move by California, the only state allowed to set pollution rules stricter than U.S. standards, is part of efforts to curb emissions of carbon dioxide, which the state says is raising the earth's temperature. California accounts for about 12% of U.S. new-vehicle sales.

California is being sued by major carmakers seeking to block a program that would require lower carbon dioxide emissions in any vehicles sold in the state, the most populous in the U.S.

The new greenhouse-gas stickers "will be helpful for those consumers who are concerned about that issue," said Charles Territo, a spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the group suing California on behalf of General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co., DaimlerChrysler and Toyota Motor Corp.

Because of persistent air-quality problems, California since the 1970s has been authorized to set pollution rules that are more stringent than those elsewhere in the U.S.

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