If you found it slightly strange that automakers went from being ardently opposed to any new EPA legislation to 100-percent behind the new proposal, you're not alone. Now the picture appears clearer, as the EPA has deemed any new California Air Resources Board (CARB) legislation an unnecessary evil. The significance of the new ruling is so far-reaching that the OEM savings can be heard all across our great land. In short, it means that California and the 17 other states vying for independent CO2 regulations are completely helpless in forcing automakers to be held to a separate, higher standard. Of course, California is now threatening to sue the EPA, which will provide interesting headlines but likely no alternative outcome.

While we will never know if automakers were tipped by the EPA of this eventuality, we can definitely say that every exec in the auto industry is today dancing the jig over this news. Besides, we've been keeping tabs on this situation for some time, so we knew it was a possibility. Having multiple regulations would set back R&D spending for years, as automakers would be chasing their own tails trying to comply with multiple regulations. With no separate standard for green states like California, automakers can now build one car for all 50 states, which will save billions every year. Let's hope that the saved cash will be funneled back into green tech research and development. And let's hope that lawmakers spend more time paving the way for plug-in spots for electric cars, more gas stations with E85, and a proper fuel cell infrastructure, and less time trying to beat on OEMs in an effort to look good for voters.

[Source: AutoblogGreen]