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Clearing the air

May 10, 2008

Re "Smog of war," editorial, April 25

For more than three decades, the U.S. Department of Transportation has supported the need for a single, national set of fuel economy standards. This is consistent with congressional legislation that has repeatedly called for national fuel economy standards.

There is no scientific way to regulate tailpipe emissions of carbon dioxide without also setting fuel economy standards. As a result, inconsistent state efforts such as California's would undermine national fuel economy standards and significantly distort manufacturing and production decisions without assuring any additional fuel savings.

Our goal should be to improve fuel economy in the most cost-effective way possible, not to create huge car dealerships on the borders of states that have different fuel economy regulations.

Ultimately, the best way to save fuel and preserve consumer options is through a single, national set of fuel economy standards, instead of a patchwork option that would merely encourage consumers to purchase their automobiles in one state over another.

Mary E. Peters

Secretary

U.S. Department

of Transportation

Washington

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