General Electric's current "green" marketing campaign ads include a train engine "chugging through pristine rural settings surrounded by flowers, birds, trees and mountains." But far from the summit of environmental responsibility, the company is at the "height of hypocrisy," says Frank O'Donnell of Clean Air Watch, because it is simultaneously lobbying the Environmental Protection Agency to weaken proposed nitrogen oxide restrictions for diesel engines. Other train makers say they can meet the EPA's proposed rules, which wouldn't kick in until 2011 at the earliest. GE calls the standard "unlikely to be achieved." An EPA official says GE's resistance is slowing adoption of the new rules. The agency estimates that reducing smog from trains and ships could provide more than $70 billion in health and environmental benefits within 20 years while the cost of compliance would be $2 to $3 billion over the same period.
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