Four automakers have met with environmentalists and the California Air Resources Board to see whether the parties can agree on nationwide standards for carbon dioxide emissions.
The nonprofit Aspen Institute said today that it had convened a group of stakeholders that included Ford Motor Co., General Motors, Honda Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp., the Sierra Club, the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
According to a post on the institutes Web site, the parties explored ways to achieve national and state goals for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and fuel economy improvements.
Automakers fear that the EPA will authorize California and 13 other states to regulate emissions of carbon dioxide, which contribute to global warming. The California Air Resources Board wants to cut greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles in that state by 30 percent from 2009 through 2016.
Essentially, the only way to achieve that goal is to impose fuel economy standards that are even tougher than the current federal standards, which mandate a fleet average of 35 mpg by 2020.