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CA Emission Standards Threatened By New Federal Legislation

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Photo by David Reber's Hammer Photography via Flickr
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By Kevin Mathews/Special to LAistThanks to its massive air pollution problem, California currently enforces the strictest car emission standards in the country. These stringent practices may be in jeopardy, however, due to the Energy Tax Prevention Act, newly proposed legislation at the federal level, according to SFGate.

Though the bill would apply to the entire country, the Energy Tax Prevention Act would most drastically impact California. For several decades, the state has received a federal waiver allowing it to impose tougher regulations to counter its high air pollution levels. In addition to eliminating this waiver, the bill would nullify other state measures designed to reduce carbon emissions, including the Global Warming Solutions Act backed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006.

Last night, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Energy Tax Prevention Act. Led by Republicans, its supporters argue that it is not fair to tax businesses and individuals on environmental information they deem speculative. They hope reducing standards will save jobs and help businesses.

The bill still faces a large obstacle before passing through Congress, namely a Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate. California Senator Barbara Boxer, who referred to the proposal as the “Reliance on Foreign Oil Forever Act” on Twitter, vows to fight the legislation.

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Fellow opponents contend that not only would the proposal be detrimental to the environment, it also limits a state’s right to determine its own safety standards.