WASHINGTON - The Clinton administration on Friday proposed to reduce tailpipe emissions over the coming decade by as much as 95 percent from today's levels.
EPA Administrator Carol Browner said the cuts could add up to $200 to the price of a vehicle.
Jo Cooper, president of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, representing nine automakers, had not seen the fine print but said, 'We do support the targets.'
The gist of the proposal is to require further cuts in exhaust emissions, especially smog-causing nitrogen oxide, and to merge standards for cars and light trucks. Not every truck would need to pollute as little as a car. Instead, manufacturers would be required to have their entire fleets, except for the largest light trucks, meet an average emission standard.
AAM support depends on the EPA's companion proposal to cut sulfur in gasoline by 90 percent. Sulfur fouls clean air equipment.
The administration wants final rules by the end of 1999 so phase-in can begin with the 2004 model year. The phase-in would last until 2009.
But a major fight still looms with the oil industry, which renewed its complaint that the proposal puts more of the clean air burden on refiners than carmakers and that consumers will be the losers.