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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Gov. Schwarzenegger Promotes Alternative Fuel Vehicles at the Annual L.A. Auto Show

Gov. Schwarzenegger Promotes Alternative Fuel Vehicles at the Annual L.A. Auto Show

Today at the annual L.A. Auto Show, Governor Schwarzenegger highlighted the important role the newest alternate fuel and hybrid vehicles play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in California and throughout the world. The Governor also highlighted the need for more fuel alternatives and greater fuel efficiency to help drive down high gasoline prices.

“It is fantastic to see that the world’s automakers are developing the technology to help us meet our goals in California. These cars come in every size and shape and they prove that we can give consumers the choices they want and still protect the environment,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “This is exactly the kind of innovation we need. Working together, we will ensure that California remains a leader in clean and alternative fuel vehicles and we will ensure a healthy and prosperous future for our nation.

“Imagine what we can accomplish if we improve efficiency and put more alternatives on the road, whether it is biofuels, electric cars, hydrogen or hybrids. This will also help our families with fuel prices because it’s all about supply and demand. By providing more alternatives, we can drive down oil prices from the $100 a barrel everyone is expecting.”

The L.A. Auto Show is an international auto show showcasing 1,000 of the newest vehicles from 47 of the world’s automobile manufacturers. The L.A. Auto Show has become the main stage for unveiling alternative fuel vehicles as manufacturers look to California, which drives the market for hybrids and other fuel efficient vehicles, to establish trends for environmentally-friendly cars and trucks. This is the second year in a row the Governor has appeared at the show to highlight such vehicles.

Governor Schwarzenegger has made it a priority to put California at the forefront of the booming clean tech industry and to develop a robust infrastructure to support the wide use of clean energy and hydrogen power in California.

In January, Governor Schwarzenegger announced the world’s first Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) for transportation fuels that requires fuel providers to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels sold in California. This first-of-its kind standard firmly establishes sustainable demand for lower-carbon fuels but without favoring one fuel over another.

The LCFS is projected to initially displace 20% of California's gasoline consumption by 2020 and increasingly more after that. It's also projected to fuel more than 7 million low carbon vehicles by 2020 in California alone - and millions more after that. It is harnessing market forces to jump-start California's and the world's transformation to a low-carbon economy.
Allowing the market to do the work ensures the lowest cost and most consumer-friendly environment. Like AB 32, the LCFS will use market-based mechanisms that allow providers to choose how they reduce emissions while responding to consumer demand. For example, providers may purchase and blend more low-carbon ethanol into gasoline products, purchase credits from electric utilities supplying low-carbon electrons to electric passenger vehicles, diversify into low-carbon hydrogen and other to-be-developed strategies.

This year, Governor Schwarzenegger launched the effort that led to California filing a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failing to act on California’s tailpipe emissions waiver request to regulate greenhouse gas emissions for cars and light trucks sold in the state. The Governor lobbied both President Bush and EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson to approve the request so that California can implement the nation’s cleanest standards for vehicle emissions.

In April 2004, the Governor signed an executive order creating a public and private partnership to build the Hydrogen Highway in California by 2010. The Governor opened California’s first public hydrogen fueling station in October 2004, located at Los Angeles International Airport. Currently, there are twenty-five hydrogen-fueling stations in the state. Eventually, a network of hydrogen-fueling stations will be opened throughout California making hydrogen fuel accessible to the increased number of vehicles in California.

Last year, the Governor signed the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, California’s landmark bill that established a first-in-the-world comprehensive program of regulatory and market mechanisms to achieve real, quantifiable, cost-effective reductions of greenhouse gases. The law will reduce carbon emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020 and to 80 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2050.

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