Officials from California demanded on Tuesday that federal regulators allow the state to impose the strictest automobile and light truck emissions rules in the nation. They said that new regulations were needed to lessen the threat of global warming and threatened to sue if the government did not allow them to go forward, the New York Times reports.

California's attorney general, Jerry Brown, told an Environmental Protection Agency panel here that the proposed standards on greenhouse gases were the most comprehensive effort in the nation's history to address issues experts attribute to the gradual warming of the planet, including melting ice caps, rising sea levels and rampant wildfires.

"Protecting our planet is not a partisan issue, and the states now want to do what we can in the absence of federal action," said Mr. Brown, a former governor of California, "and the E.P.A. has no right to deny us the ability to move forward."

A representative of the auto industry warned that adopting the new California standards would be "counterproductive," raising the price of cars, costing jobs and imposing inconsistent auto emissions standards around the country.

Mr. Brown noted that the auto and oil industries objected to the new rules, but urged the E.P.A. panel to overrule them in the interests of the broader public.

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