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Breaking: Obama to set national emissions standard based on California's

May 18, 2009 | 11:21 am

The Obama administration plans to announce on Tuesday that it will set national restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles, in what environmentalists are hailing as a major step to curb global warming and spur development of more fuel-efficient cars.

The national policy will mimic, with slight modifications, a California policy that state officials fought the Bush administration for years to implement, two sources with knowledge of the agreement said. California officials have signed on to the policy, one of the sources said. So have major U.S. automakers.

Combining regulatory powers across the administration, the policy will toughen existing federal mileage standards with a harmonized standard that automakers and environmentalists have long sought – and which administration officials have said for months they were working to set. “This is the biggest single step to curbing global warming,” said Dan Becker, director of the Safe Climate Campaign, an environmental group. “It’s a major step forward in cutting auto emissions, and California blazed the trail.”

Full story:  U.S. to limit greenhouse gas emissions from autos

--Jim Tankersley and Richard Simon