Florida moving toward tougher fuel standards

William Gibson  | Sun Sentinal

President Obama’s push today to cut greenhouse gases will likely clear the way for Florida and other states to set tougher standards for fuel emissions.

Governor Charlie Crist has asked the Florida Legislature to follow California’s example, which has become the model for more than a dozen states that want to curb air pollution.

California’s attempts had been blocked by the Bush administration. But Obama on Monday directed federal officials to review the matter with an eye toward letting the states decide.

The likely result will allow states to insist on higher standards, which would force automakers to build vehicles that spew less pollution and improve fuel efficiency.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection estimates that from 2013 to 2016 the new standards would reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks by about 23 million metric tons, or 6 percent.

DEP also estimates that by 2016, Florida’s gas consumption would be reduced by 2.7 billion gallons.

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