With more electoral votes and more voters than any other state in the U.S. California has won a big political victory in Washington. Along with more than a dozen other states like New York tagging along, California has just gotten permission to enforce its own, stricter fuel efficiency regs on autos. As the largest and richest auto market in the U.S. this move will reverberate. Not like it's Montana and Delaware with their tiny economic clout. As we recall, the Bush version of the EPA refused to let California have its way. The relative conservative federal courts backed up that decision. Now the Obama EPA has given California its approval. The new regs take immediate effect. It remains to be seen if the likes of GM and Chrysler will use some of the taxpayer loan money to sue to stop the move. As you could guess, the American Petroleum Institute hates this ruling. Environmental groups applaud. The governors of New York State and California are pleased as well. The Association of International Automobile Manufacturers AIAM) seems resigned to the decision and pledges to work on improving fuel efficiency. The California fuel efficiency standards were first enacted there in 2002 but were held in suspension because the Bush Administration refused to grant California a waiver to have standards tougher than the federal ones. Here are the other states that intend to follow California's auto standards: Arizona, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. Also Washington D.C.
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