regfootball

Feds block California’s vehicle emissions rules

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http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22332983/

finally, something denotes progress in helping automakers have a uniform standard to adhere to!

Feds block Calif. vehicle emissions rules

EPA says allowing states to set standards creates a ‘confusing patchwork’

MSNBC News Services

updated 8:30 p.m. CT, Wed., Dec. 19, 2007

WASHINGTON - The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday slapped down California’s bid for first-in-the-nation greenhouse gas limits on cars, trucks and SUVs, refusing the state a waiver that would have allowed those restrictions to take effect.

“The Bush administration is moving forward with a clear national solution — not a confusing patchwork of state rules,” EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson told reporters on a conference call. “I believe this is a better approach than if individual states were to act alone.”

The long-awaited decision amounted to a serious setback for California and at least 16 other states seeking the new car regulations to achieve their anti-global warming goals. It was a victory for automakers, who contended they would have been forced to reduce their selection of vehicles in the states that adopted California’s standards.

The tailpipe standards California adopted in 2004 would have forced automakers to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent in new cars and light trucks by 2016, with the cutbacks beginning in the 2009 model year.

Under the Clean Air Act, the state needed a federal waiver to implement the rules.

“It is disappointing that the federal government is standing in our way and ignoring the will of tens of millions of people across the nation,” said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. “California sued to compel the agency to act on our waiver, and now we will sue to overturn today’s decision and allow Californians to protect our environment.”

Twelve other states — Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington — have adopted the California emissions standards, and the governors of Arizona, Colorado, Florida and Utah have said they also plan to adopt them. The rules were also under consideration in Iowa.

With Wednesday’s denial, those other states are also prevented from moving forward.

In explaining his decision, Johnson cited energy legislation approved by Congress and signed into law Wednesday by President Bush. The law requires automakers to achieve an industrywide average fuel efficiency for cars, SUVs and small trucks of 35 miles per gallon by 2020.

Johnson said Congress’ approach would be better than a “partial state-by-state approach.” He said California’s law would have yielded a 33.8 mpg standard, but California Air Resources Board chair Mary Nichols said Johnson’s math was “just wrong.”

She said the California regulations would have resulted in a 36.8 miles per gallon average and would have taken effect sooner than the federal standards.

“EPA is now trying to hide behind the passage of (fuel economy) legislation,” Nichols said. “This is really unconscionable.”

Environmentalists and Democratic lawmakers also denounced the decision. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., who chairs the Senate’s environment committee, said she’d question Johnson at a hearing. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., chairman of the government oversight and reform committee in the House, vowed to investigate, alleging the decision was dictated by politics — something Johnson denied.

“This federal agency blunder is bad policy and worse law,” Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said. “We will take the EPA to court if necessary and once again demonstrate that no one is above the law.”

Automakers applauded the outcome.

General Motors Corp. said in a statement that “by removing the disproportionate burden of complying with a patchwork of state-specific regulations that would divert our resources, automakers can concentrate on developing and implementing the advanced technologies in ways that will meet America’s driving needs.”

Wednesday’s decision was further confirmation of the Bush administration’s adamant opposition to mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions, even after a string of court decisions affirming the right of states and the federal government to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

It was the first time the EPA had fully denied California a Clean Air Act waiver since Congress gave California the right to obtain such waivers in 1967.

The auto regulations were to have been a major part of California’s first-in-the-nation global warming law which aims to reduce greenhouse gases economy-wide by 25 percent — to 1990 levels — by 2020. The auto emission reductions would have accounted for about 17 percent of the state’s proposed reductions.

Nichols said California expects to win on appeal and does not plan to shift its strategy to meeting greenhouse gas reduction goals.

Edited by regfootball
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GREENIE #1: " The automakers are recovering, what should we do?!?!?!"

GREENIE #2: "Umm, QUICK! Throw legislation at them so they drown!"

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One of the posting rules here at C&G should be: Refrain from using the words "government regulations" and "common sense" in the same post!

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You may have won this battle Bush Administration but common sense will prevail and California and the other states will have their regulations! Governor Shwarzenegger and D.A. Jerry Brown are going to take this thing all the way to the Supreme Court if they need to. Also, we should have a new Democratic administration within a year that will finally settle this once and for all.

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You may have won this battle Bush Administration but common sense will prevail and California and the other states will have their regulations! Governor Shwarzenegger and D.A. Jerry Brown are going to take this thing all the way to the Supreme Court if they need to. Also, we should have a new Democratic administration within a year that will finally settle this once and for all.

I can't imagine the costs associated with 50 different emissions standards. Where does California get off thinking they can govern the rest of the states?

If California wants this so bad, make the manufacturers create a retro fit kit and charge each and every Californian $1000 for it for being such pompus asses.

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I can't imagine the costs associated with 50 different emissions standards. Where does California get off thinking they can govern the rest of the states?

If California wants this so bad, make the manufacturers create a retro fit kit and charge each and every Californian $1000 for it for being such pompus asses.

Agreed.

California needs to STFU and stop trying to be a nation. Or go the other way and seceed completely - the rest of us are tired of its BS being forced on us.

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I can't imagine the costs associated with 50 different emissions standards. Where does California get off thinking they can govern the rest of the states?

If California wants this so bad, make the manufacturers create a retro fit kit and charge each and every Californian $1000 for it for being such pompus asses.

California wants to require emission standards that are equal to those in Europe, China and Japan that are in place now but wont require it for years in the future.

That makes us pompous asses? The world has passed us by. This is the kick in the ass that the domestic manufacturers need to get them to be able to compete on the world stage.

Maybe instead of a retro kit we should charge non complying vehicles an extra $1000 a year to get a vehicle registration. That would put a dent in the domestic manufacturers bottom line.

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Having seen the haze over L.A. recently, I can't say I blame California for trying to impose stricter standards. On the other hand, I can't imagine the farmers in Idaho give a damn. Such is the challenge of running a continent-stretching nation that has a thousand self-interest groups pulling in each direction.

California would have had more clout in the '60s when the Big Three dominated the market. With more than a dozen manufacturers selling in that State, I wonder who would be the first to pull out if California had its way. It is a BIG market, to be sure, but even a big pie can only be sliced so many ways.

And don't be so quick to beat up on Detroit. Ford and GM build low emission vehicles in Europe already. It's just that there are already enough costs to doing business over here as it is. With Europe becoming one market and China growing, it may behoove we North Americans to stop thinking that we are the Center of the Universe.

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There are only two emissions standards - California (California, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, and Utah, making up the majority of the population) and the others - not fifty.

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California wants to require emission standards that are equal to those in Europe, China and Japan that are in place now but wont require it for years in the future.

That makes us pompous asses? The world has passed us by. This is the kick in the ass that the domestic manufacturers need to get them to be able to compete on the world stage.

Maybe instead of a retro kit we should charge non complying vehicles an extra $1000 a year to get a vehicle registration. That would put a dent in the domestic manufacturers bottom line.

You want Euro level emissions standards? Fine, get your Senators and Congressmen <you only have 53 of them> to get a uniform EPA standard on a Federal level. IF it doesn't happen, sorry, that's the way the Democratic process works. Try again next year.

And the 3 least polluting manufacturers aren't even for sale in the US. GM comes in at number 6 globally.... ahead of Ford, VW/Audi, Honda, and Mercedes.

BMW's fleet is the worst polluter overall.

Can you imagine the the revolt when it is found out that BMWs can no longer be sold in California. There would be an uprising with pitch forks and prada shoes <no torches... don't want forest fires> storming the Governator's mansion.

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There are only two emissions standards - California (California, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, and Utah, making up the majority of the population) and the others - not fifty.

Thank you! While this may not be the majority of the New Car market it is well over a third of it.

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Thank you! While this may not be the majority of the New Car market it is well over a third of it.

I don't care what the EPA standard is. My point it political. There is a democratic process we have in this country and California is trying to get around it.

Again, you want the stricter standard? Lobby Pelosi... not the Governator.

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Thank you! While this may not be the majority of the New Car market it is well over a third of it.

and way to ignore the fact that the German fleets + Honda are larger polluters than GM and Ford.

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California wants to require emission standards that are equal to those in Europe, China and Japan that are in place now but wont require it for years in the future.

That makes us pompous asses? The world has passed us by. This is the kick in the ass that the domestic manufacturers need to get them to be able to compete on the world stage.

Maybe instead of a retro kit we should charge non complying vehicles an extra $1000 a year to get a vehicle registration. That would put a dent in the domestic manufacturers bottom line.

*snicker* China? You're leaning your argument on China? They may write down a standard in a book somewhere, but that doesn't mean they'll live up to it. Goes right along with their attempts to convince the rest of the world that they're becoming some westernized capitalist society. Har har har. I don't buy it - not to the extend they want us to believe.

Personally, I don't have a problem with having two emissions standards. More than that is retarded, but as was said - Cali, a major population %, has major issues with smog and such. Major portions of the country, however, do not. Cali people want to spend that much MORE to live there (not for me, thanks), let 'em.

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If they are so concerned about the environment, why not go after some rapidly industrializing nation with no emissions regulations? Or contribute money to researching alternative fuels? Or are they just going after the automakers because it's convenient and doesn't require much work/money?

They are...

They're tackling the heavily polluting ships that come into our ports, which are mainly from China

They're spending millions on the development of a "Hydrogen Highway"

Cars are just one contributor to climate change and poor air quality, and CA is addressing many other sources

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and way to ignore the fact that the German fleets + Honda are larger polluters than GM and Ford.

In Europe, not the US.

GM and Ford sell primarily fuel-efficient cars and vans in Europe, not full-size SUVs or trucks

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fuel efficiency doesn't have as much to do with pollution as people hype it up to be. The 3800 is PZEV and so is the Focus 4-cylinder.

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fuel efficiency doesn't have as much to do with pollution as people hype it up to be. The 3800 is PZEV and so is the Focus 4-cylinder.

The amount of GHGs emitted is a direct correlation with the amount of fossil fuel burned. A gallon of gasoline produces 19.4 lbs of CO2.

In your link, the pollution they were talking about is carbon dioxide (a GHG), not traditional criteria pollutants (PM, NOx, VOCs, etc), which also contribute to climate change but in a different way.

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They are...

They're tackling the heavily polluting ships that come into our ports, which are mainly from China

They're spending millions on the development of a "Hydrogen Highway"

Cars are just one contributor to climate change and poor air quality, and CA is addressing many other sources

Where I live in California the #1 polluter is Methane from cows.

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Having seen the haze over L.A. recently, I can't say I blame California for trying to impose stricter standards. On the other hand, I can't imagine the farmers in Idaho give a damn. Such is the challenge of running a continent-stretching nation that has a thousand self-interest groups pulling in each direction.

California would have had more clout in the '60s when the Big Three dominated the market. With more than a dozen manufacturers selling in that State, I wonder who would be the first to pull out if California had its way. It is a BIG market, to be sure, but even a big pie can only be sliced so many ways.

And don't be so quick to beat up on Detroit. Ford and GM build low emission vehicles in Europe already. It's just that there are already enough costs to doing business over here as it is. With Europe becoming one market and China growing, it may behoove we North Americans to stop thinking that we are the Center of the Universe.

the haze over LA... its a natural basin... it naturally collects smog, and other pollutants... if no one lived in Los Angeles, it would still look that way... it has always had a problem with pollution even with the native americans... i forgot what they nicknamed the city but it was along the lines of black sky or smoke sky, because the mountains would retain their fire smoke or smoke signals or whatever...

you want to see polutants? look at China or India... in recent years the great wall of china hasnt been visible from space on some days due to the thick pollution, a massive grey haze covering all of southern asia...

2006_ozone_china.jpg

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CA, if you want increased standards, set up taxation to pay for it yourselves. Leave the 90th percentile of the rest of the nation with an attainable national standard and stop taxing drivers in other states paying for your bull&#036;h&#33;. I'm sure you can each pony up 1000 bucks a year to pay for the effort YOU so need.

Stop dumping on the automakers. Regulating CO2 is not a tactic of reducing smog, its a backhanded way to try to fight the 'theory' of global warming (the earth is flat, remember) and mpg. At the core, this is simply politics and agenda.

You need to approach this a different way. Build consensus in 50 states and work to something everyone can agree to and implement. In fact, a global emissions standard would be nice. NOT A CALIFORNIA one.

You created your own mess with excessive population and such. You did not create good mass transit nor have you created your own car companies that sell cars with 50mpg nor have you created electric vehicles. You have contributed nothing of notable consequence to the automotive landscape in terms of manufacturing and production. You do not make 1 million cars in your state that do these things. You do not even seem to be able to create the infrastructure to create and distribute enough electricity in green ways to satisfy your propulsion and other lifestyle needs. I am not going to even talk about water and needing to beg from other places to get it.

Try not to bite the hand that feeds. Learn to play nice with the people that build all your cars. All you are just finding out with a hack job like Tesla motors, it is HARD to build a car, certify it, make it run and last, etc and make them in factories. And not just 2 seaters.

For once, get off your own throne before the earthquake takes it down and puts it in the ocean.

Let's start by taking away everyone's BMW's, sports cars, Mercedes, Lexus, Range Rovers etc, and make them all drive Yaris and Accents. I bet you all would look so awesome pulling up into Spago in a Yaris hatch.

Edited by regfootball
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There are only two emissions standards - California (California, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, and Utah, making up the majority of the population) and the others - not fifty.

Not even close, sorry.

There are, as you say, two emissions standards. One for...

California

Connecticut

Maine

Massachusetts

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New York

Rhode Island

Vermont

...and one for...

THE OTHER FORTY-ONE STATES.

Of the "special" states, California and New York may have large populations, but they hardly constitute a majority.

I'm not opposed to having strict emissions standards in the least, but they need to be uniform (I hardly want to see a no-regs free-for-all). It's stupid to require two different versions of every car strictly on the grounds of moral superiority.

Back when California's air was unlivable (during the late 1960s and 1970s), I could have understood the need for such requirements. Now that the air - and the automotive industry - has gotten much cleaner, California's Air Resources Board is looking for reasons to justify itself.

Hell, the front page of CARB's own website admits they've done their job effectively:

Recent advances in technology have made it very easy for people to drive a clean vehicle. Not only are many standard gasoline powered vehicles being made much cleaner, but hybrids and other advanced technologies are being offered in expanding model types.

Way to go, CARB! Now let's move forward, rather than hamstringing an entire industry.

Edited by Duncan
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Everybody is forgetting one thing. The United States is supposed to be governered by something called rule of law. It was made a LAW when the clean air act passed back in the 70s that California had a legal right to establish its own clean air standards as they had been doing it via the California Air Resources Board when an amendment to the Clean Air Act was passed in the 70s.

So for all of you crying dirty pool, open up a legal casebook about California and CARB setting standards and you will be drowing in legal decesions that favor the State of California.

On another note, for all of you conservatives out there that preach states rights, this is a states rights issue and if the Supreme Court were to rule any differently, then it proves that the Supreme Court has a political agenda plain and simple.

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