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California has been trying to drastically clean up its carbon emissions from cars since 2002, when it adopted a statewide Vehicle Global Warming Pollution Reduction Standard that would demand a 23% reduction in greenhouse gases from new vehicles by 2012 and a 30% reduction by 2016.

The auto industry has been fighting the new regulations since it was passed and in 2007, the EPA refused to allow California to enforce its law. The decision allowed car makers to continue with their short-sighted greenhouse gas practices.

However, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee recently overturned the EPA ruling, a decision that will allow California to enforce its strict pollution standards. A spokesperson for the National Resources Defense Council said the law will be “the single most important step taken so far to curb the heat-trapping pollution that causes global warming.”

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