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Old 02-17-2010, 12:41 PM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default States Bite Back Against Emissions Regulations, Even California



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When automakers and the Obama White House announced agreement on a single national standard for emissions and fuel economy last May, the entire auto industry heaved a huge sigh of relief. The issue was settled, at least until 2016.

Yesterday, however, the state of Texas filed suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals to suspend the EPA's 2012 tailpipe-emissions regulations, arguing that they threaten the Texas oil and gas industries and would "devastate our state's strong economy."



Welcome to Texas
Enlarge Photo


Ferrari Rally crosses San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge on 8/17/05.

Enlarge Photo

Clean air "destroys jobs"
Texas governor Rick Perry said, among other things, that the EPA was "preparing to undo decades of progress" and "destroying hundreds of thousands of jobs."

It was unclear whether new jobs in clean-energy sectors were factored into his unsupported assertion.

(Governor Perry also leveled a direct attack on the Toyota Prius a couple of years ago, but that's a different story.)

Not likely to succeed

A similar challenge was filed last week by an odd assortment of plaintiffs calling themselves the Southeastern Legal Foundation, including Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), the Georgia Motor Trucking Association, and a GM and Ford dealership in Georgia.

It seems unlikely that the lawsuits will succeed, since the EPA acted in response to a 2007 Supreme Court decision that endorsed its right to regulate CO2 as a tailpipe emission, and required it to do so under the Clean Air Act if the agency found those emissions threatened public health.
An EPA statement last week said the agency its actions "will withstand" any court challenges, and that they were based on an "exhaustive review" of the full "peer-reviewed science."

Predictability, please
Still, the last thing the auto industry wants at this point is for settled regulations to be overturned.

As knowledgeable commentators point out, car companies make multi-billion-dollar commitments on a four-to-eight-year timeframe. A known, predictable set of regulatory requirements is crucial for them to place their bets correctly.
The lack of action on greenhouse-gas regulation by the previous Administration had led California to pass its own landmark law limiting greenhouse gases, AB 32, which posed the threat of differing regulations in different states--something automakers feared greatly.

2017 and beyond
So the May agreement to adopt California's rules as a national standard sits as something of a landmark, letting automakers invest in technologies like smaller, more powerful engines, hybrids, clean diesels and, gradually, plug-in and electric cars like the 2011 Chevrolet Volt and 2011 Nissan Leaf.

The process will need to begin all over again for the post-2016 regulations, however. And everyone involved hopes that happens on a less rushed timetable, perhaps within a national energy policy--something that automakers devoutly wish were in place already.

Detroit News reporter David Shepardson wrote last week that a meeting to discuss 2017 regulations had already taken place among automakers, the California Air Resources Board, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and environmentalists.

Privately, many auto industry executives, Bill Ford among them, favor a gasoline tax to reduce consumption. But they also acknowledge that proposing one would be political suicide for any politician.

Delaying action in California
But democracy in action is a messy process, and nothing is settled until it's over.

Even AB 32, California's 2006 greenhouse-gas law, is under attack. A group is now gathering signatures to qualify a ballot initiative that would delay implementation of its regulations until the state's unemployment rate drops below 5.5 percent for a year.

The effort is backed by conservative talk-radio hosts, Tea Party members, and others. California sets a fairly low bar to qualify ballot initiatives (there are dozens each year), so the state's voters may choose in November whether to freeze efforts to cut CO2 emissions.

[Detroit News, Los Angeles Times, Detroit News]
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Old 02-17-2010, 02:24 PM   #2
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I think that tail pipe picture was taken in Texas. LOL Texas is a little bit of a do whatever you like state when it comes to cars so no surprise there.

Thats OK if CA had a Texas approach to cars and emissions the ocean breeze would blow all the really crappy air to Texas anyway so they could enjoy it.
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Old 02-17-2010, 05:26 PM   #3
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Isn't the point of our national emissions standard to bring it more in line with CO2 standards that they have in Europe?
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Old 02-18-2010, 08:02 AM   #4
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Wow, Rick Perry is such a tool. To the oil an gas industry, adapt or die. Sorry, but not wanting to change because it will cost you profits, is lame. While I have no love for California, nor them strong arming the emissions standard on the whole country, one uniform standard is a good thing, and tightening it up a little is wise. Start with Trucks.
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:01 AM   #5
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I wish the EPA would bring the emission standards more inline with the Euro 5 and 6 standards. Such a policy would help the auto industry, they could save a ton of money by not having to build engines for multiple markets (Japan, EU, US, etc.), create jobs by building cars/engines in country and offer more intersting and efficent cars to US consumers (who hasn't drooled over a euro/austrailia only car).

Too bad all the anti-ICE thugs would be up in arms about such a decision. because it would raise the allowable emission of NOx in the US by 0.020 grams/mile, while lowering the CO2 output substantially. They don't know the meaning of the word comprimise. I'm sick of the EV/Hydrogen kool-aid drinkers. Electric will happen eventually but not overnight, the math doesn't work out currently (pun intended).

Let the "Overton Window" fud begin.
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:26 AM   #6
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Really hope this lifts some of the barriers on clean diesel! I'd love me a 40+ mpg subaru that doesn't have 2000LBS of batteries in the back.
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Old 02-18-2010, 11:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
Wow, Rick Perry is such a tool. To the oil an gas industry, adapt or die. Sorry, but not wanting to change because it will cost you profits, is lame. While I have no love for California, nor them strong arming the emissions standard on the whole country, one uniform standard is a good thing, and tightening it up a little is wise. Start with Trucks.

Not to mention the way they dealt with the air problem in Houston...
"Lets lower all the speed limits instead of make people repair their cars." I hated that crap, and it doesn't seem to have affected the speed much either so it is useless at the stated purpose. But it helps raise some revenue through ticketing... Funny how things are far more similar across the country than most people would like to admit.
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Old 02-18-2010, 11:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichM View Post
I wish the EPA would bring the emission standards more inline with the Euro 5 and 6 standards. Such a policy would help the auto industry, they could save a ton of money by not having to build engines for multiple markets (Japan, EU, US, etc.), create jobs by building cars/engines in country and offer more intersting and efficent cars to US consumers (who hasn't drooled over a euro/austrailia only car).
I would think it's in the interest of US companies and importers already here to retain our peculiar restrictions (emissions and otherwise) in place to keep other competition out of the US. I'll bet companies have balanced the savings of standardization against the cost of competition and are acting accordingly.

PA were absolute car Nazis when it came to inspections long before emissions came about. When I moved to Denver I was surprised to see cars with 2x4s for bumpers attached by a tow strap to another car going down the interstate at 70 mph.
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Old 02-18-2010, 05:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sxotty View Post
Not to mention the way they dealt with the air problem in Houston...
"Lets lower all the speed limits instead of make people repair their cars." I hated that crap, and it doesn't seem to have affected the speed much either so it is useless at the stated purpose. But it helps raise some revenue through ticketing... Funny how things are far more similar across the country than most people would like to admit.
wow, we agree...

I need to sit down.
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Old 02-18-2010, 08:05 PM   #10
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A single standard would make cars cheaper and easier to build, not to mention easier to develop vehicles for a global market as one poster above stated.

Anyone from Texas, vote for anyone except Perry.
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Old 02-18-2010, 08:09 PM   #11
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Already in the plans my friend. Perry is an Asshat
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:01 PM   #12
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Already in the plans my friend. Perry is an Asshat
Perry seems to be the walking embodiment of everything people hate about Republicans and Democrats mixed together. Combine that with the fact that I don't think any one governor should stay in office longer than a President should, no matter how good he is (which doesn't apply to Perry).

I hope he gets knocked out in the primaries by Hutchison so that he won't sneak back into office the way he did in 2006.
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Old 02-19-2010, 06:44 AM   #13
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Luckily the governor of Texas really isn't that powerful. So the damage he can do is limited. And scrappy we agree again
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Old 02-19-2010, 07:01 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Not-EWRX View Post
Really hope this lifts some of the barriers on clean diesel! I'd love me a 40+ mpg subaru that doesn't have 2000LBS of batteries in the back.
werd.
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Old 02-21-2010, 01:37 AM   #15
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why not let the Federal government make all the rules for everything .... yeah, yeah keep it in PP
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Old 02-21-2010, 08:04 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichM View Post
I wish the EPA would bring the emission standards more inline with the Euro 5 and 6 standards. Such a policy would help the auto industry, they could save a ton of money by not having to build engines for multiple markets (Japan, EU, US, etc.), create jobs by building cars/engines in country and offer more intersting and efficent cars to US consumers (who hasn't drooled over a euro/austrailia only car).

I concur. It's ridiculous to have a completely different set of rules from every other civilized nation. It hampers everybody in both directions. Harder for US manufacturers to sell cars elsewhere, and harder for foreign manufacturers to sell here. Stupid.

I do hope they change the inspection requirements though. I want a damn tailpipe sniff, and who cares how you passed. If my million HP modified motor passes emissions, it shouldn't matter that i modified the exhaust equipment.
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