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Maryland promoting environmentally friendly cars

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Once the new Democratic governor signs the bill, Maryland will become the eleventh state to follow the California model.

The measure is designed to force manufacturers to sell fewer gas-guzzling SUVs and other large vehicles and to instead market more hybrids and other cars with fuel-efficient engines.

Automakers must cut fleetwide emissions of global warming gases -- that is, the average emissions of all the cars they sell in Maryland -- by 30 percent by 2016 or face fines.

To meet this goal, car companies will have to offer financial incentives to encourage people to buy smaller cars and vehicles that emit less carbon dioxide, a gas that scientists have concluded is warming the atmosphere.

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