New York, Massachusetts to adopt tougher auto-emissions standards

The New York State Environmental Board voted unanimously this month to adopt California’s toughest-in-the-nation rules for cutting automotive greenhouse-gassiness. The new rules, which will be phased in with 2009 model-year cars, aim to cut carbon dioxide emissions about 30 percent by 2016 — effectively improving auto fuel economy by roughly 40 percent. Massachusetts is set to adopt the same standards by the end of the year. The stricter standards are expected to eventually sweep the Northeast and the entire West Coast, which together comprise about a third of auto sales in the U.S. — forming a powerful regulatory counterweight to more lax federal emissions standards. Big Auto, sensing a grassroots shift in public opinion, plans to upgrade all its new cars. Ha ha! We kid. Actually, Big Auto has already moved to block the New York regulations and plans to do the same in every state that attempts to adopt California’s standards.