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Legality on New Pollution Limits Studied

A state regulator says California´s new greenhouse gas emission standards can be met largely by using existing auto technologies and will generate consumer savings by improving gas mileage.

The Assembly Transportation Committee held a hearing yesterday to determine if regulations approved last September by the Air Resources Board comply with legislation passed in 2002 to reduce emissions scientists say contribute to global warming. The new limits are designed to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from new cars, light trucks and sports utility vehicles about 30 percent by 2016.

A group of automakers and dealers is challenging the state´s effort in court, contending it conflicts with the federal government´s role in setting fuel efficiency standards.