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Environmental Regulation Commission Votes to Set Tougher Emissions Standards

December 2nd, 2008 by Mike Vasilinda

The State Environmental Regulation Commission voted 6 to 1 today to set tough new emission standards for cars sold in Florida, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us, the tougher standards are still a long way from reality.

Hear it Here: Environmental Regulation Commission Votes to Set Tougher Emissions Standards

Under the proposal, by 2013, every car sold in Florida will have to meet or exceed 35 miles per gallon. The last day of testimony before the Environmental Regulation Commission brought out car makers and car dealers who argued business was already bad enough and tougher standards would only make it worse.

Vehicles will go up in price, Auto Nation Spokesman Ron Book said. Is it three thousand dollars? Is it five thousand dollars? Or is it up to nine thousand dollars, the number that has many times been used?

The dealers concerns forced state regulators to defend the standards.

These cars will still save consumers money over the life of the vehicle. They will, Joe Kahn with the Department of Environmental Protection.

The standards would be identical to Californias, but would not change if tougher emission standards are approved in that state. Eric Draper from Florida Audubon says Florida cant wait any longer.

Weve got to start reducing our greenhouse gases, those are the chemicals that cause global warming, Draper said. And if we dont, our cities are going to be underwater.

State lawmakers must also approve the standards, and environmentalists acknowledge getting a yes vote from a business backed republican leadership will be difficult.

Environmentalists do say it will be an uphill battle to convince lawmakers, but their secret weapon is strong support from Governor Charlie Crist.

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