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California Air Resources Board Releases GHG Emissions Reduction Plan

GHG reductions from the transportation sector account for the largest sectoral reduction in the ARB Scoping Plan. Click to enlarge.

The California Air Resources Board released its Climate Change Draft Scoping Plan that outlines a course to reduce California’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30% over the next 12 years. Specifically targeted transportation reductions are 60.2 MMTCO2e (million metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent), or 35.6% of the total currently specified reduction.

On the transportation side, the draft plan calls for full implementation of the California Clean Car law (the Pavley standards, including the next-stage Pavley II standards), currently held up by the absence of the requisite EPA waiver. It also calls for development and implementation of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard.

ARB projects that full implementation of the light-duty vehicle GHG standards will result in a reduction of 31.7 MMTCO2e in 2020; implementation of the LCFS will result in a reduction of 16.5 MMTCO2e. Combined, the 48.2 MMTCO2e reduction from these two primary transportation policies represents 28.5% of the total targeted reductions of 169 MMTCO2e.

Other transportation sector initiatives include:

  • Further vehicle efficiency measures, such as measures to ensure proper tire inflation, use of lower friction oil and reduction of air conditioner use. (4.8 MMTCO2e);

  • Improvements in goods movement, including ship electrification in port and system-wide efficiency improvements (3.7 MMTCO2e);

  • Heavy-duty vehicle efficiency and GHG reduction and medium- and heavy-duty vehicle hybridization (2.5 MMTCO2e); and

  • High speed rail (1 MMTCO2e).

Other possible transportation sector measures lumped into a general category of “Other measures under evaluation” include:

  • Feebates: A feebate regulation would combine a rebate program for low-emitting vehicles with a fee program for high-emitting vehicles. As noted below, if California is unable to implement the Pavley regulations, this program could be adjusted to obtain the foregone emission reductions.

  • Congestion Pricing.

  • Pay-As-You-Drive (PAYD): In Pay-As-You-Drive (PAYD) programs insurance premiums are set based on driving record and other traditional risk factors, but are broken down into per-mile charges.

  • Indirect Source Rules for New Development: “Indirect source” rules are designed to address air pollutant emissions associated with residential and commercial developments. These developments attract traffic and result in other indirect emissions. For example, research shows that low-density development located distant from employment centers and other destinations has a high transportation carbon footprint. Adoption of regional indirect source rules could provide reductions in greenhouse gases through better project design and mitigation of emission impacts.

  • Public Education and Programs to Reduce Vehicle Travel.

The implementation of the Pavley light-duty vehicle GHG reductions clearly is a central component of the scoping plan. Although ARB believes that “it is highly likely” that it will ultimately be permitted to implement the Pavley regulations, the law also specifically states that if the Pavley regulations do not remain in effect, ARB shall implement alternative regulations to control mobile sources to achieve equivalent or greater greenhouse gas reductions.

ARB currently plans to pursue one of two possible strategies to “backstop” the Pavley regulations if they cannot be implemented.

  • Requiring automakers to meet the equivalent of the emission reductions expected under the current Pavley regulations as a condition of vehicle certification in California. Before vehicles could be certified for sale in California, the OEM would need to submit verified greenhouse gas emission reductions from mobile sources equivalent to those of the Pavley reductions.

    This obligation would cover the life of the current regulations, from model year 2009 through 2016, and would also need to replace the anticipated reductions from the second phase of the Pavley regulations.

  • A feebate proposal in which fees on the purchase of high greenhouse gas emitting vehicles would be returned as rebates to buyers of low greenhouse gas emitting vehicles. The fee schedule would need to be designed to obtain cumulative emission reductions equivalent to those that would have been achieved under the Pavley regulations.

Development of the Scoping Plan is a central requirement of AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Nuñez, Pavley), that calls on California to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Governor Schwarzenegger signed the bill into law in September 2006. Release of the draft plan will be followed by further evaluation and economic modeling, and workshops are planned throughout the state to present the details to the general public allow ARB to hear public comments.

Central to the draft plan is a cap and trade program covering 85% of the state’s emissions. This program will be developed in conjunction with the Western Climate Initiative, comprising seven states and three Canadian provinces, to create a regional carbon market.

The draft plan also proposes that utilities produce a third of their energy from renewable sources such as wind, solar and geothermal, and proposes to expand and strengthen existing energy efficiency programs and building and appliance standards.

Under the plan the State of California is committing to reducing its own carbon footprint by 30%. It also calls on Californians to make changes to their personal behavior to reduce their carbon footprint through carpooling and simple actions such as adjusting thermostats to use less energy for heating and cooling.

Once the final draft is prepared, it will go to the Board for consideration in November. After adoption of the plan, all measures in the plan will be thoroughly vetted and analyzed, with full public input, over the next two years as they move through the regulatory process.

Preliminary economic modeling of the plan indicates that the overall savings from improved efficiency and the development of alternatives to petroleum will on the whole outweigh the costs. The draft plan recommends targeted fees to fund the state’s long-term commitment to AB 32 administration.




How are they going to regulate how much you run the A/C in your car? Who is going to enforce this? If things are supposed to get hotter wouldn't this cause more frequent use of the cars A/C unit?

Very confused


Let's hope they can implement some of these initiatives. They sound like a good first step and if they get some federal help to smooth some of the processes instead of the obstructionalist barriers being consistantly thrown up, they may provide further information to smooth further transistions.


How are they going to regulate how much you run the A/C in your car? Who is going to enforce this?

Remember the bad old days when cars sold in California were equipped differently in order to meet their regulations? Maybe it's coming back, in the form of a requirement that the A/C on any car sold in CA can have no more than a certain (insufficient) cooling capacity.

Head Case

Hypermilers use ice-vests and drive with their windows closed and they survive. No air conditioning needed!



Wouldn't super high performance electric inverter type A/C be more efficient and much more quiet? Would it be as compact? How many BTU is required to keep a 100 - 110 cu. ft. cab at 24 - 25 C ?

Isn't Toyota (and other manufacturers) planning to use electric A/C units in their electrified vehicles?

Please keep insurance premiums out of this !

Much of this is just a convoluted way to do gas tax. Why not just do gas tax?

Chicken sh!t politicians afraid to do it correctly with a simple gas tax.



Electric A/C's in cars sounds good, how well do they work, it's 112 outside here. Makes me wonder why they haven't been used by now. My cars mpg drops almost 10% with the A/C running. It just worries me when they use the word "Reduction". CARB has shot itself in the foot on several occasions.


The A/C behavior change being mentioned isn't for your car so much as it is for your home. It's not a mandate so much as an initiative to change people's ideas of what is appropriate, i.e. not keeping your home at 68 degrees all the time.

But California does have their eye on rolling out thermostat controls for people's homes that will allow the state's utilities to control the thermostat settings in your house. The technology has been pilot tested off and on for years now and many California homes already have the things installed. They're called Programmable Communicating Thermostats and in the next decade the California utilities are going to install them in millions of homes and offices (on a voluntary basis I believe). The thermostats allow your utility to wirelessly raise and lower your thermostat settings based on their needs and modify when your A/C comes on to reduce their peak load. A small incentive in the form of a utility bill credit will probably be associated with the PCTs so that people will allow them to be installed.

The main purpose of PCTs is for peak load reductions but utilities could also probably use them to decrease overall energy use if they were hardpressed to meet their GHG reductions.


In Colorado, Excel Energy has had a voluntary control unit for air conditioners for some time -- they can shut off your unit in case of excess demand loads, but they do it on a rolling basis, so you never really know it. I get a small incentive for allowing it, and don't even know if they have ever had to implement it on my home. I do know they installed the control box. No big deal.


This would have to be completely voluntary to have any chance to work. Even if you volunteered, the first time you have friends over for a nice diner and the power company set your thermostat at 82 you are not going to be happy.

In the seventies the military housing A/c units were manually set at 80 and you could not change it. So, people learned that if they set a lamp next to the thermostat it would think the room was warmer than 80 and the a/c would kick on.

Do not underestimate what people will do to sidestep Forced regulation.


Sounds like the set up we had, when I grew up, for the water heater. The utility could send a signal over the power lines to your house and turn off your water heater during peak hours. They sold the power to you at third to half the normal rate if you signed up. And since we had a fireplace with a wetback water heater it was not such a big deal.


All this is coming about because people didn't do their earthly duty & conserve for the last century. Blank stare's your Nike answer...just do it. A/C runs at 75 degrees or higher(higher preferably), heaters at 65 degrees or lower(lower preferably).

Here's help for your vehicle's a/c. While accelerating or climbing hills, turn a/c off(I know...supposedly a/c turns itself off under these conditions...don't believe it). Hope your hills aren't too long.

Other tips for hills. Don't accelerate will climbing hills. As best you can without over accelerating, get your speed up BEFORE the hill. As you climb hill, let your speed come down a bit. Don't accelerate till you are truly on the flat of the hilltop. If hill immediately descends, don't accelerate car with the gas pedal, but let the hill give your speed back to you. This called flattening out the hill. Great tip, Head Case!

People, conserving ain't so bad! Hypermilers do it to extremes. Not a hypermiler, but my vehicles got 35, 42, 45, & 75MPG over the years. Poor people conserve more than any of us...if they had anything to conserve, which they didn't.

Andrey Levin


Gasoline engine works with higher efficiency on wider throttle. Gentle depressing of gas pedal when you go uphill (the trick is not to overdo it to lower gear; I am talking about automatic transmission of course) is better. You will be able to coast downhill with zero fuel consumption a bit longer.

Non-issue. Move On.

Kit P.

It would appear that CARB is not serious about AGW. California could start rationing fossil energy tomorrow. Recall of elected officials the day after.


Andrey...Why did you think it worthy of teaching someone who got 35, 42(50-highway), 45(53-highway), & 75 MPG from their vehicles for 35 years, how to drive more efficiently? Have you too been nuturing others to feather foot?

Hi Anon...You sound like a democrat listening to the latest cliche group...or a republican not listening....or a person that didn't mind what his pollution was doing. Most certainly you aren't someone that feels their earthly duty...or cared to conserve in the 20th or 21st century.

You must see that conservation of what we pumped into the air, would have delayed our present mess. & caring what we pumped into the air would have led more quickly to solutions for our present mess.

Bob Bastard

Electric A/C units (as well as power steeing) work great and save gas in cars. They are already available on several models including the Prius and the Nissan Versa. As for the network control units placed on appliances, they ARE completely voluntary, and they deactivate appliances for such a short period of time that they are unnoticeable (other than when the electric bill comes) to the end user. These devices have been discussed here on numerous occasions.

The bad old days when California cars were equipped differently are behind us forever. This is due to the fact that a number of states constituting such a large percentage of the US auto market have adopted the California standards, that no auto manufacturer will bother to sell cars in the US market that won't meet the California standards.


"no auto manufacturer will bother to sell cars in the US market that won't meet the California standards"

I believe this is incorect. My father in law just came to Arizona to buy his diesel truck because it was not offerred in California. He has to put 7K miles on it before it can be registered in California. VW was selling thier 45 mpg TDI's like hotcakes in almost every state except California for 3 years.

Not allowing TDI's was a huge blunder by CARB.

stas peterson

No the real reason that California cars are not being built by foreigners, any longer, is that there is no difference between the federal 50 state standards, any longer, and the California ones.

CARB was quicker to force an implementation schedule, but the Federal standards are just as tough and in the case of marine, aviation, off-road and rail locomotives standards, despite the Bush bashing, are actually better. Meanwhile the implementation schedules, even if they were more moderate, have now arrived, so there is no practical difference any longer.

The Federals simply allowed enough time for the manufacturers to fully adapt, all their factories, and for the ULS fuels to be available nationwide throughout the US. But the federal ULSD are and have been in force since 2007 (except for some minor amounts for offroad use).

The 50 state federal standards have caught up. No manufacturer would build a special California car as each time the standards ratcheted downward, the more expensive it became to build a lower volume auto.

Dirty diesels, regardless of the propaganda calling them "clean diesels" from Europe have been withdrawn and T2B5 diesels are replacing them.

In fairness to the CARBites, their cockamamie demands for FCEV "gold stars" cars, are still unequaled. But why would anyone want to emulate that stupidity? CARB is already marching back down that hill on that requirement, just like they did on their EV mandates of 20 years ago.


Small follow up on earlier post.

Programmable Communicating Thermostats will be in required in all new California homes in April 2009 unless the standards procedure gets delayed. So peak load reduction technology will be built into all new homes in California in the very near future as part of a several years old plan.

Kit P.

Reducing peak demand will not reduce ghg.

stas peterson

California is deep into Power third world under-development. It can generate less than 85% of its electric needs, and depends on power imports for the balance. Thank your local Cali-eco-BANANA. They won't even allow the solar and windmills to bring power to where its needed.

If you install a load shedding AC thermostat, it will work virtually every day, immediately as power limitations and brownout warnings occur virtually daily. So you will be forced to sweat, and freeze, almost immediately, every day.

Everyone fears an oil disruption, creating gas stations limits and lines, as in '73. But California is very close to that happening in electricity.

It gets its power from Arizona, Nevada, Washington, Colorado, Utah and Mexico. Soon one day a state Utility commision in one of these states will say local reserves are too low, and forbid exports, that they can under the force of Law. The utiltiy will be forced to cease shipping power to California at any price.

All the others states will rapidly do likewise, to protect their systems. Californians may discover the eco-joy of having electricity every only other day or three.

My prediction?

Every one of the eco-idiots in the Cal State House will be be seeking new employment ... And all will be blaming the greedy "Big Utilities".

I have had load shedders installed on my homes in Arizona, that I controlled. If tied to settings remotely controlled in a power deficit area, I would immediately pull it out.

Kit P

Load shedding devices (the permanent kind) should be mandatory for all those who draw a paycheck from the state of California including their elderly family members. This should also apply to the legal profession and members of environmental waco organizations. Yes, a few will die. I will have empathy for the elderly but not much sympathy for the purveyors of BANNA policy.

When it is their parents that suffer, then maybe they will understand the benefit of an adequate energy supply.


It has been stated that if 10% of the cars were running natural gas, it would only increase NG usage 2%. That seems like a good way to reduce smog and oil usage.

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