California May Play Ball On Emissions. May Not.
California's Air Resources Board (CARB) has been a Detroit boogeyman for some time, occupying the angry, bitter section of auto exec's hearts (normally reserved for the UAW and the folks who control Japan's currency). But The Detroit News reports that tensions may be easing between the industry and the the California cloudchasers. CARB Chairwoman Mary Nichols told reporters at the Society for Automotive Engineers (SAE) Government/Industry session that the board is considering modifying California's emissions controls to become regional, rather than statewide rules. Details are still emerging as to what exactly just what the Hell that means. And that means the thaw in relations is largely rhetorical, with the industry accepting that CARB regulations are basically unstoppable and CARB reaching out to quell manufacturer and dealer concerns. "We can have a national fuel economy policy and still allow California a role as a laboratory for innovative approaches to reducing carbon dioxide emissions," says Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers President Dave McCurdy, stressing that a national approach is better. Nichols, for her part, says the regulations will entail only "a small increase in costs" and "a little bit of creative repackaging." Meanwhile, Green Car Congress reports that California's Pavely regulations would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 41 percent more than new CAFE standards, if applied nationally. How great is that?
"modifying California's emissions controls to become regional, rather than statewide rules. Details are still emerging as to what exactly just what the Hell that means." I think it means California wants its rules to apply to the entire region (with the latter defined as "North America").
I really don't get why the 2.8 are fighting this at all. It seems an easy way to get out of their dealer contracts in a lot of states. Dear Dealer, As our current offering of vehicles does not meet your state's new regulations, we realize that you will be challenged to live up to your obligations as a dealer. Please see attached amendments... Presto! Dealership ranks reduced in months.
California already has regional smog control. Depending on where your car is registered, your smog checks can be annual, bi-annual, and I think in a couple of counties not at all.