Wednesday, October 09, 2002


Or maybe not.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Bush administration sided Wednesday with auto manufacturers in opposing a California requirement that a percentage of passenger vehicles sold in the state achieve zero emissions, meaning reliance on all-electric cars.

The Justice Department maintained that federal law overrides any state effort to regulate fuel economy for cars and trucks.

In a 37-page filing with a federal appeals court in San Francisco, the department lawyers argued that California's zero emission mandate impinges on what is solely a federal responsibility.

``The Energy Policy and Conservation Act provides that when a federal fuel economy standard is in effect, a state or a political subdivision of a state may not adopt or enforce a law or regulation related to fuel economy standards,'' the department argued.