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Plan would meld mpg, emission rules

Carol Browner, shown after being named energy policy coordinator last year, said agencies are working together. Carol Browner, shown after being named energy policy coordinator last year, said agencies are working together. (File/Associated Press)
Bloomberg News / February 23, 2009
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WASHINGTON - Carol Browner, the White House energy policy coordinator, said the heads of the federal transportation and environmental agencies are collaborating on a single US policy for regulating emissions from vehicles.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson are blending EPA'S emission's standards and the Transportation Department's mileage standards, Browner said in Washington yesterday.

"We are obviously in difficult times in terms of restructuring that is going on with some of the companies, but the hope is that we will come to a unified approach for the next generation of vehicles," Browner said in remarks to the Western Governors Association.

The EPA said earlier this month that it would reconsider a Bush administration decision to reject California's request to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which represents General Motors, Ford, Chrysler and other companies, has said meeting stricter state standards would cost billions of dollars, create a patchwork of regulations, and reduce the number of models automakers can sell in California and other states, including Massachusetts, that want to adopt the rules.

Former President George W. Bush provided $17.4 billion in assistance to GM and Chrysler in December. The money was allocated from the $700 billion bank bailout fund.

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