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CARB Adopts CO2 Regulations

Reuters. After two days of hearings, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) passed unanimously the country’s first air-quality regulations to reduce car emissions linked to global warming. This now implements AB1493 (the Pavley Climate Change bill) passed in 2002. (Earlier post.)

The new rules require cuts in emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases in cars and trucks by as much as 25 percent beginning with the 2009 model year, with cuts accelerating as high as 34 percent in 2016.

The auto industry likely will respond with a legal challenge, while other states, especially in the Northeast, will follow with their own tougher pollution standards. This also comes when attorneys general in multiple states are suing power companies over their CO2 emissions. (Earlier post.)

This would be an excellent opportunity for the auto industry to break a standard pattern of response. The science is clear on the need to reduce emissions. The engineering and technology actually exists to implement those required changes to new vehicles. The fuzzy area is consumer acceptance.

Rather than having more fighting between regulators and the auto industry, let’s agree that the problem needs to be solved, and then turn to a more productive resolution: educating consumers about the necessary changes. Ultimately, we (the consumers) are a significant part of the problem, and are also the implementers of the solution (when we buy and drive).


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