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Study: 1990 Emissions Goals Tied Too Strictly to One Technology

A new study says a 1990 California program aimed at reducing vehicle emissions may have been too ambitious. KPBS reporter Ed Joyce has details.

A new study says a 1990 California program aimed at reducing vehicle emissions may have been too ambitious. KPBS reporter Ed Joyce has details.

The study by the Public Policy Institute of California says the state's zero vehicle emissions program has had some environmental benefits.

But PPIC researcher Louise Bedsworth says the program failed to get the auto industry to develop zero-emission vehicles. 

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<b> Bedsworth </b> : I think it's achieving its original, a similar benefit, environmentally, but through quite different means. And it's taken advantage of developments in technology. It's just that they're very different than what the program originally laid out -- which was a pure zero-emission vehicle. And the fact is we don't have many of those on the road today.

She says part of the problem was the zero-emission goal was tied to one technology -- battery-electric vehicles. And when that technology didn't meet performance or cost expectations, the state changed the program. She says the state can learn from those mistakes when it implements its landmark global warming regulations.

Ed Joyce, KPBS News.