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California, Connecticut Governors Slam Federal Government on Climate Change

21 May 2007

In a piece in today’s Washington Post, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell said that the action of the federal government “borders on malfeasance” for trying to block the efforts of states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new vehicles.

California and the 11 other states that have adopted the California regulations are poised to enact vehicle emissions standards that would cut a total of 392 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 compared to the projected business-as-usual scenario.

Yet for the past 16 months, the Environmental Protection Agency has refused to give us permission to do so. Even after the Supreme Court ruled in our favor last month, the federal government continues to stand in our way.

Another discouraging sign came just last week, when President Bush issued an executive order to give federal agencies until the end of 2008 to continue studying the threat of greenhouse gas emissions and determine what can be done about them.

To us, that again sounds like more of the same inaction and denial, and it is unconscionable.

—Governors Schwarzenegger and Rell

Noting that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is “finally” holding the first of two hearings on the waiver request (earlier post), the governors welcomed the opportunity to call attention to the harmful effects of global warming, but said that they “are far from convinced” that the agency will grant the waiver.

Should that occur, the governors said, legal action will follow to “settle this issue once and for all.

California, Connecticut and a host of like-minded states are proving that you can protect the environment and the economy simultaneously.

It’s high time the federal government becomes our partner or gets out of the way.

May 21, 2007 in Climate Change, Emissions, Policy | Permalink | Comments (47) | TrackBack (0)

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So this means the EPA is now able to wait till the end of 2008 before making a decision on the waiver?

CO2 is not a "pollutant" in the sense that EPA defines pollutant. It is a natural occurring and necessary trace gas.

Period.

H2O is a Green House Gas that is 17 time more effective as a GHG on equal mole for mole basis. Its atmospheric presence dwarfs the presence of CO2 as well; making itthousands of time more effective as a GHG, since its presence in the atmosphere as vapor and clouds can approach 100,000 ppm, and not a mere insignificant 380 ppm traces as CO2 is.

So how do we regulate water (H2O) as the similar awful "pollutant" that GHG "pollutant" actually is?

The Law of Unintended Consequences is at work here as well. There are CO2 (and H2O) sources that you don't think of that will need regulating.

Humans are pretty ineffective vehicle motors generating lots of CO2 and water vapor GHGs, even when peddling a bicycle.

How can we not rule all bicycles off the roads as well? And not sue the bike makers out of existence? (How can they reduce CO2/H2O) from You? answer; they can't.)

For that matter your "Shanks mare" is even worse from an efficiency standpoint, than riding a bicycle. How do we not rule Y-O-U off of public streets for polluting by walking? You, thats right you, are a walking bag of CO2 expelling "pollution".

And don't say the smarmy legal greeders wouldn't try. They have had no problem about driving the pharmaceutical industry to the wall, and the vaccines makers out of business; simply to make a buck that they could stuff into their pockets. And the health care people are angels compared to the stories that would be concocted against the "profit-seeking greedy bicycle makers". The legal phonies have sued and bankrupted Churches without batting an eye; they have stolen from the Charity poor boxes of Churches and kept their extorted millions of contingency fees; all the while self righteously condemning the weaknesses of some church leaders.

As the proverb goes "Beware of what you wish for; you just might get it!"

On reflection: The only thing that might be good is we might be able to tell the legal industry if you can't cut down your CO2/H2O hot air output like everybody else; you'll have to close down some lawyers. GOODY !!!!!!!!!

As Stan illustrates so nicely, never let common sense get in the way of a good rant.

Wow, I haven't read comment sections for awhile but it certainly surprise me that someone is still trying to argue about Climate Change. I don't even know why people bother. The prime motive to discredit Climate Change is to simply protect the status quo. Even as the old foes now admit that people are responsible for Climate Change, little changes have, or will occur in the immediate future.

I think higher energy and food costs probably have done more to sway public opinions than all this rhetoric.

i used to like reading the commentatry here. it was always interesting to hear what smart, infomed, concerned people had to say. but i notice that since Stan Peterson started his aggresive, poorly informed, campaign to discredit everything and everybody, people are staying away. Sadly, it has become boring. Stan is pathetic. time for you to collect your bonus check Stan.


Since only the federal government can set fuel economy standards, are these regulations legal? Regulation of tailpipe CO2 is directly correlated with fuel efficiency. Since that is essentially a de facto efficiency standard.

If California wants to see more efficient vehicles, CARB needs to loosen NOx emissions slightly so we can get those 50mpg diesels they enjoy in Europe.

Also, has the state considered that if the waiver is granted and they go into effect, and the price of new vehicles goes up significantly, how many people will simply hold on to their older, less efficient vehicles longer?

And Stan:

If you want to have any credibility at all, don't rant. The only thing that matters in these arguments are facts, evidence, and peer-reviewed research. You're not doing yourself any favors right now.

Cervus, I am no lawyer but common sense tells me that just because one thing follows another a lot of the time it doesn't mean they are necessarily one and the same thing. These points are taken from this pdf (http://www.calcleancars.org/factsheets/NRDC_0704.pdf):

The federal fuel economy law specifically provided for adjustments in
efficiency standards in the event that California or federal pollution rules make mileage standards more difficult to meet -- not the other way around.

• Today, the agency responsible for fuel economy standards, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, is required by law to take emissions rules and other standards into account before setting fuel economy performance targets.
• In the early days, air pollution standards tended to increase fuel consumption. Today that conflict is largely gone. The technology to meet today’s air pollution standards tends to improve fuel economy at the same time. This is true of the technologies to reduce vehicles’ global warming pollution.
• If the fuel economy law does not stand in the way of EPA or California air pollution standards when they make better fuel economy harder to achieve, it certainly doesn’t stand in the way when air pollution standards make better fuel economy easier to achieve.

As for loosening NOx emissions, I distinctly remember some European posts here saying the NOx emissions in Europe aren't all that "nice".

CO2 is not a "pollutant" in the sense that EPA defines pollutant. -- Stan Peterson

You might want to read the actual regulations.

It is a natural occurring and necessary trace gas.

Nitric oxide, in trace concentrations, is necessary for human health. In somewhat larger trace concentrations, say ppm levels, it will kill you. Water is necessary for life; too much water and you drown. What's your point?

You, thats right you, are a walking bag of CO2 expelling "pollution".

So ... where did that CO2 come from? And how long did it take for you to turn it back to CO2?

You may well have a point about pedaling a bicycle -- if as a result you lose weight. You as an organism would then be a net CO2 source over the period you lost weight. Over your lifetime -- especially the first 20 years or so -- you'd be carbon negative if you do not include combustion of carbon reserves that took longer than your lifetime to accumulate.

If California wants to see more efficient vehicles, CARB needs to loosen NOx emissions slightly so we can get those 50mpg diesels they enjoy in Europe. -- Cervus

Yes and no. A diesel in a Hummer H2 or Toyota Tundra ain't gonna get 50 mpg. Especially not at 80 mph. Consumers could take a little responsibility here, or at least ask themselves if they seriously think fuel isn't going to keep getting more expensive in the long run. But it would be nice to have a wider choice.

Marcus:

Some interesting points. I'll have to give it some thought.

Current NOx regs here are 1/6th that of Europe. The most stringent in the world. The technologies for meeting the T2b5/Lev II regs only barely meet them. Hence CARB's reluctance to certify Mercedes' BluTec system. Diesels have the additional benefit of being more flexible of fuel source, namely biodiesel, or xTL diesel.

However, I recently read that biofuels demand in Europe increased rainforest destruction in Brazil by 40% last year to raise soybeans. Clearly first generation biofuels are not the way to go.

Algae all the way.

We already have 50mpg Priuses we enjoy in the U.S. In the future, we will have 50mpg diesels even with the new standards. But people will still need to drive smaller vehicles.

The Supreme Court ruling confirmed that co2 is a pollutant. The debate is over. This is about implementation. As usual, the federal government under Bush is dragging its feet.

Cervus, regarding algae did you read this post at TOD?

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/2541#more

I didn't read all of it but it didn't sound as positive as I might have hoped...

Marcus:

No, it doesn't sound very positive. However, I should note that during the 40s engineers said that the sound barrier could not be broken. That it was a technological impossibility. Now, I do note that Dr. Benemann says that R&D should continue, but not to expect any silver bullets. However, he also thinks that there are no technological solutions to be found to our energy problems. He focuses on the demand side only.

As far as his expertise, his qualifications are undeniable. But I can only defer to him so far. We need more R&D to lower the costs. GreenShift's recent testing of their hybrid open pond/closed system is one direction. GreenFuel Tech is likely seeking others. I'm certain they are well aware of their cost issues. Perhaps they are expecting some form of carbon tax as well and recycled flue gases would end up a profitable enterprise with that in mind.

I'm not sure who is going to be correct at this point. Ultimately the only thing we can do is engage in some intensive R&D and investment.

Hi All,

I would like to ask everybody the last time they have been out in a CO2 storm?

Rain is condensed water vapor, and it purges itself from the atmosphere all the time.

C02 does not readily purge itself. Yes there are some CO2 sinks, but nothing like billions and billions of gallons of rain water in the oceans.

Charles -

The 'scientific consensus' on human-induced climate change is starting to slowly crumble; that's part of why it's 'climate change' now and no longer 'global warming'. I'm figuring that in another five years or so, we'll all look back at this and laugh.

Matthew...REALLY? Care to post a few links to back up that statement? Preferably none that have "drudgereport.com" in the URL.

Stan.... CRAZY ALERT, CRAZY ALERT!!! Make sure this wacko walks through a metal detector at every opportunity. He knows better than the vast majority of scientists. He knows better than the supreme court. WATCH OUT!!!

Shlomo -

Sure, since you asked so nicely:

http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=927b9303-802a-23ad-494b-dccb00b51a12&Region_id=&Issue_id=

That gives a handful of respectable scientists who have recently jumped off the bandwagon. I suspect these are just the early few - there will certainly be more later.

Hmmm, let's try a more click-friendly version of that:

Clicky clicky!

Marcus,Cervus: The more I read TOD, the less credibility they have in my mind. It has become (maybe it always was) the biggest collection of doomers on the planet stuck in a negative feedback loop. They seem to spend all of their energies looking for reasons to be depressed. Too bad, they have some good points, but they're getting lost in cries of WOLF!. As for algae, as I remember it the main reason it dropped from sight in the 80s was for economic reasons. At 60$/bbl for oil and going up, I suspenct the money is there to make it work.

To anyone new to GCC: I don't know Stan. He's not with me. I don't know who let him out.

Neil:

That is why I don't bother with them, myself. Around here we mainly argue about new technologies, policy, and implementation.

Matthew:

I wouldn't hold your breath, honestly. Until there's a strong, competing theory for our climate problems, we should defer to the larger consensus.

Cervus -

The thing is, the science is beginning to point toward natural causes for the observed variation. Once we understand this, the notion that we have a 'climate problem' will go away and there will be no need for a strong competing theory.

We'll likely end up with a strong research program into the natural drivers of climate, which will be perfectly fine, and the current hysteria will fade away as it always has in the past.

The amount of H2O the air can hold is dependent on air temperature. As CO2 causes temp to rise the amount of H2O will rise accordingly. A 1C rise will increase H2O by about one part per million.
As far as CO2 being both an essential ingredient in life and a pollutant consider the example of vitamin A. Vitamin A is an essential ingredient but in too high an amount causes disease, liver failure, and death. That CO2 levels are 30% higher than anytime in the last 650,000 years and that entire excess has grown in the last 50 years is cause for concern.

Science reports have progressively pinpointed the temperature increase as man made effects. If you look at the past reports, the recent reports have improved quantitative estimates on the effect of man made green-house gases.

As the polar icecaps are melting, the time for waiting should be over by now.

Matthew: that EPW story is from Marc Morano, whose background in climate science consists of being Rush Limbaugh's producer. Currently he is James Inhofe's lead cherry picker. Given the state of the literature this is cherry picking at its best. You'll have to find something a bit more compelling for those of us not in the head-in-sand crowd.

cidi -

Nice job attacking the source - can you do the same for the content? Did the people he quote not really say those things, or are those not really their qualifications, or what?

Haha, I figured I'd wait until someone else called Matthew out on that. Mesa thinkin hesa Stan. I'll add him to my National Crazy Person Forecast alert system.

Matthew...CRAZY ALERT, CRAZY ALERT!!! :D

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