• Jan 22, 2009
Welcome, President Obama. The Governator and the California Air Resources Board would like you to immediately allow California, and its toady hangers-on like Massachusetts, to set their own emissions standards.
The Bush Administration denied the waiver that would have allowed CARB to set a goal of a 30 percent reduction in tailpipe emissions by 2016, along with requiring an average of 43.7 miles per gallon for cars and 26.6 for trucks by the same year. Now that there's a new administration winding up, the move is on once again to push the waiver through. Lisa Jackson, nominee for EPA administrator, has promised to aggressively review the 2007 decision should she be confirmed.

Automakers argue that the measure would force them to sell vastly different configurations for different states to meet those varied standards. While the "easy" (if cost-intensive) solution may be to make all models meet California emissions, the bigger issue is the mileage requirement. There's already a tough new Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard coming up which is likely to be a challenge to meet in the allotted time, let alone containing what it will cost without sending MSRPs skyward.

While environmental responsibility is admirable and serious measures should be attempted, critics of the plan argue that cranking up a CAFE number willy-nilly equates to an unfunded mandate and misdirects efforts at brand-new vehicles – instead of spreading the word about how environmentally and economically friendly it is to keep an old car going in a good state of tune.

[Source: Detroit News]


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  • 72 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Results of a survey that came out this week shows that life expectancy of Americans over the last 30 years, has increased by 22 weeks because of improved air quality.
        • 5 Years Ago
        wow, i'd like to see that survey...
        because how do you specficially target the quality of air to the extra 22 weeks, over a 30 year period?


        "They adjusted the results to take into account other things that might affect life expectancy, such as smoking habits, income, education and migration."
        (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090122/ap_on_he_me/med_air_pollution_health;_ylt=AsJPt8NF.VeFStv4Zx5b7XbVJRIF)

        advances in medicine? nope
        improved quality of workplace? prob not
        saftey standards for children? nah
        improved driver training? f that
        technological advances in general? i don't think so

        nope, the life expectancy increase must be due to quality of air (which should mean that the amish live to be much much older). or in other words a federally funded study revealed the results they anticipated, because if it didn't everyone would be complaining about the money spent on it. guess what, 'air' is easier to breath and better for you than 'smoke', now where is MY grant money?

        but i will say "oh crap!" i guess that's more proof that social security will def not be around with all those 22week older citizens collecting benefits!
        • 5 Years Ago
        havoc,

        Sorry, that was a completely failed attempt at refuting a research paper put together by two research universities and published in a major research journal (New England Journal of Medicine) that was vetted by its peers and up for discussion among the academic community as a whole. The full text is available there, so feel free to look through the whole thing, possibly using science and math along the way to refute points and not rough guessing at what you kinda think a summary press release might possibly mean. Thanks for playing.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hey, keep it down. No one in here wants to hear that. It only was published in all major newspapers today, needless to say Autoblog chose to ignore it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Can someone please explain to me why the new stricter emissions and fuel economy standard isn't good enough for California? Why most they insist on having their own?
      • 5 Years Ago
      43.6 mpg average. What kind of cars will the automakers be able to sell and still meet that average? What cars meet that requirement today? Prius. OK, what other car?.......still waiting......

      How about trucks? Name a truck that can get an average of 26 mpg. Any truck...

      What technological miracles does CARB expect to materialize in the next 7 years to achieve these numbers? Or is the real goal to de-horse as many drivers as possible and convert them to government run public transportation? The populous is much easier to control when they can't move about without government help..
      • 5 Years Ago
      A few issues as I see. I seem to remember something about states not being able to legislate in such a way as to interfere with interstate commerce. Now I know an exception has been made for California, but quite frankly that was bullshyte to start with. So maybe we should just say to hell with them right now. Also, as several have pointed out, maybe ye olde Governator should focus on his bottom line....or really, overhead line since they are sitting somewhere along the Marianas Trench in relation to their budget, instead of forcing the Federal government to make an allowance for them to be "special" again.

      Really though, if California really cares about these mandates and thinks they are good for the environment, why aren't they pushing for the Government to adopt California's standards (or a slightly altered version of) for the entire country? That would take the burden off Automakers (from everywhere) to make cars meet various standards within a single market, AND be better for the environment.

      Maybe I'm just thinking again.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Everyone is an environmentalist. We all want a healthy planet, but you really drew the whackos out on this one. Every change you make has unintended consequences. Although you improve air quality you must remember that you must do so with regard to the economy, because, as you will see now with this economic downturn, funding for environmental causes is a casualty of decreased tax revenues, and raising taxes in a downturn decreases taxable income which further decreases tax revenues. It's a downward spiral.
      I would expect higher cafe standards could result in fewer cars being sold, resulting in fewer auto makers being profitable, resulting in fewer auto workers being employed, resulting in decreased income tax revenues and more people having to fall back on government programs.
      These things are complicated. It's easy to demand government action, but these things need to be carefully analyzed.
      I suppose I'll get some voodoo economic responses from people who already know everything. but I am fairly optimistic the Obama administration will use some common sense here.
      In the end, we will ease into the promising new technologies, not because it's the right thing to do, but because it will become economically imperative. A little carefully planned governmental incentive could accelerate the process. Incentives drive behaviors better than punitive governmental actions.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Please see my comment above, for some it's never a good time to increase CAFE.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The manufacturers should make all cars to meet the CAFE standards, regardless of cost. Then when people stop buying cars because they are too expensive and the automakers go to the government to ask for money, they have a valid excuse. There's nothing I'd like to see more than the automakers giving a big middle finger to the feds by showing them how dumb their rules are. Does the government not know that these things cost money? Do they not realize that no one has money?

      Maybe the feds should reduce diesel taxes. That would boost fuel economy numbers as manufacturers build more diesels. Or we could make the gallon bigger....
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's funny. "People stop buying cars..." Riiiiiiiight.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Hey Matt anytime you want to let us go please do, the rest of the country leaches off of the CA economy anyhow.

      California is responsible for 13% of the United States' GDP

      We only receive 79 cents back in federal aide for every tax dollar we contribute so we would be much better off just keeping our money in state than giving handouts to the righty welfare states.

      That said if some manufacturers want to skip out on selling cars in 15 states please do I am sure someone else will fill the void.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If I were the Car Manufactures I would just boycott selling cars in those states all together and see how fast people revolt lol...It works for the Unions when they do it, all the Car manufactures should get together and do the same thing and go on strike lol...
        • 5 Years Ago
        "States using or planning to use California emission standards include California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Florida, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massacusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania."

        Right, go ahead and not sell cars in any of those states and see how long you can stay in business.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @cdwrx: I know, right?

        "You know what would be better than a state being able to set its own standard for the air quality that its citizens breath? An illegal collusive relationship between all the major automakers that victimized consumers, that's what!"
        • 5 Years Ago
        Making a stand off is not committing suicide, it is just that making a stand off. Those are great numbers at 50%. That meas 50% of the potential buyers will give backlash to their local government. It is essentially how strikes work.
        • 5 Years Ago
        When push comes to shove. Like if the politicians are any better. If the people of California want more fuel efficient cars then change the market share/demand to more fuel efficient cars and stop buying gas guzzlers. They should put their money where their mouths are. Unless they need big daddy to tell them what to buy, eat, etc etc....


        as for "Right, go ahead and not sell cars in any of those states and see how long you can stay in business. "

        Sure they will be hurting, but see how long the state will survive with out the taxes it generates from new cars being sold, then ultimately seek other forms of taxation to recoup the loses which the citizens wont like it either, introspect both sides will hurt.

        • 5 Years Ago
        I never expected to hear someone call for an automaker cartel.
        • 5 Years Ago
        As I posted above, the # of cars sold in states that abide by CAFE outnumbers the rest of the cars sold in this country. If automakers really want to give up more than 50% of their sales it would be financial suicide...
      • 5 Years Ago
      "...instead of spreading the word about how environmentally and economically friendly it is to keep an old car going in a good state of tune."

      You're missing the point: those cars burn fossil fuels, which is 100% unacceptable to environmentalists (at least, for the energy-gluttonous citizens of US).

      The goal is to _eliminate_ fossil fuels - everywhere - not just reduce them.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I remember seeing an article on here a while ago about a foxbody mustang that got in the neighborhood of 400hp, with nearly 80mpg?

        Yup, here's the article.

        http://www.autoblog.com/2008/07/02/lx-prize-80-mpg-87-mustang-with-400-hp/

        If someone in their back yard can do this, why can't the engineers do it?
        I don't care what the environmentalists say... 80mpg is amazing, and when you throw in 400hp/500lb*ft torque, everyone is happy.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sea Urchin, Thanks but I feel I should point out that I DID serve my counrty for 8 years, more than half of the time WAS spent in the sandbox!!! AND I shop at Sams club, Costco is too far away.....good store though.
        • 5 Years Ago
        JAL, why don't you show that finger to Iraqi terrorists, oh i am sorry, i forgot that you do not have to fight wars and that you are hiding somewhere in suburban America. And the most fighting you ever done was at Costco, over who gets the last jumbo muffin.
        • 5 Years Ago
        JAL: I love ya, but I think you missed my point. I was pointing out what the Environmentalists want, not what I want.

        Autoblog (and others) are just starting to wake up to the fact that, for environmentalists, NO MPG RATING IS EVER GOING TO BE GOOD ENOUGH.

        Too bad most of them have already blindly embraced Change!, now we just have to wait for the consequences.

        "Welcome to the New America!" -The Late, Great USA.
        • 5 Years Ago
        as an "energy-gluttonous citizens of US" I TOTALLY AGREE. By that I mean that I will throw you a big old red white and blue middle finger as Im passing you in my Trailblazer SS getting 11 mpg AND LOVING IT!!!!

        GOD_BLESS_THE_USA LOVE IT OR GET THE F**K OUT !!!!!

        YEAH C'MON
        • 5 Years Ago
        My apologies. Having said that, we as a country should not fight wars simply because we want to drive what we want to drive.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Okay, here's my two cents in relation to the "keeping older cars going" comment -

        I have a 2000 (yes, I realize this is not THAT old, but still is an old-ish car) Pontiac Firebird, with a 3800 Series II v6. (that's 3.8L, folks) Now, with that comes around 210hp (bolt on air intake, stock is 200hp), 225+ lb*ft of torque, and 30mpg highway.

        Yes. 30 MPG HIGHWAY. mid to low 20's in town, even.
        So... my eternal question is... Why is everyone (Toyota, Honda, Nissan) bragging about 30mpg highway cars? My car is 9 years old now, and still runs like a dream, it is still fun to drive, eye catching, and still bests the new "fuel efficient" offerings from these manufacturers.

        Why can't we (the big 3, the world) do better things with our technology? If a 9 year old car is just as good as the new ones, what incentive does that give to buyers to get a new car? It just doesn't make sense in my opinion that in order to achieve better mileage we have to sacrifice performance. (Granted, the v6 f-bodies aren't true sports car performance, they're still fun cars.)

        I guess to put this in another way - Make them like you used to, GM, Ford, and Chrysler. You had good things back then... just take an old platform, revive it, update it (maybe better interior quality, lighter, keep pretty much everything else the same) and you'd have a killer. (Yes, I realize there is the new Camaro, and this is exactly what they all need to do - the new Camaro in v6 flavor is 298hp with 26mpg highway... not quite as high as 30+, but still not bad.)

        I just wish the "environmentalists" would get it in their heads that you don't have to sacrifice performance or kill the performance cars to achieve decent MPG ratings.
        • 5 Years Ago
        MGS4TW: I just wish the "environmentalists" would get it in their heads that you don't have to sacrifice performance or kill the performance cars to achieve decent MPG ratings.

        Hmmmm, do you think there's a reason why they don't?

        Maybe it's because achieving "decent MPG" is a _smokescreen_. See Kyoto and it's exemptions.

        Start pedaling or riding a rickshaw, the third-world lifestyle is coming to a United State near you faster than you think.




      • 5 Years Ago
      Yeah my state has no money left.
      • 5 Years Ago

      I guess the term United States is no longer valid, since at least one state wants to go its own way.
      • 5 Years Ago
      California is run by a very liberal and crazy legislature. These imbeciles are currently trying to pass the job of the budget back to the voters! They are not the authority on anything remotely related to automotive technology or emissions controls. If they do not know how to change a sparkplug or an air filter, they have no business dictating what our fuel efficiency should be. We need one uniform standard for this country instead of a hodge podge of regulations for each state.
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