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In a bid to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, New York state officials have announced that cars sold or registered in the state must cut the amount of CO2 they produce, as of 2009. The move could cut the state's emissions of the gas by 14.9 million CO2 equivalent tons per year by 2020, and by 26.3 million CO2 equivalent tons per year by 2030.

The new regulations are at odds with the Bush Administration's approach, which has largely been to hope that new technology will come along and solve the problem, rather than to move to curb emissions.

But, as Kit Kennedy, an attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council told Reuters: "New York isn't waiting for President Bush or the federal government to take action."

The state's Republican governor George Pataki, who is reportedly considering a presidential bid, is also trying to regulate greenhouse emissions from power plants in the North East of the US, along with eight other states.

New York is not alone in defying the Bush party line. California imposed regulations of car emissions a year ago, and last week, Vermont said it would also move to put upper limits on how much CO2 a car could produce. Massachusetts, Maine Connecticut and Rhode Island are also making similar plans, Reuters reports.

Unsurprisingly, the car industry is not delighted. A spokeswoman for the industry lobby group, Alliance of Automobile Manufactures, said that a national consensus was needed. "National fuel economy standards cannot be written by any single state or group of states," she added.

However, state officials note that the rules make no mention of fuel economy, and are in fact governing emissions. New York says the new regulations will be finalised in 30 days. ®

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