Today California sued the EPA over its refusal to let states enact their own greenhouse-gas laws. “Fifteen states plan to intervene on California’s behalf, including 13 of those that have either adopted or are in the process of adopting the rules. Delaware and Illinois, which have not passed the standards, also are part of the lawsuit.” [New York Times]

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  1. PølάrβǽЯ says:

    California and the other 13 states are stupid, then. The problem with each state making it’s own emissions laws is that car manufacturers have to make different cars for each state. And then it becomes a huge pain in the ass to sell cars out of state or move out of state with your own cars.

    Car makers already have to make special cars for California due to CARB; can you imagine if 13 other states followed suit? We as Americans should be able to buy the same car in all 50 states, and take that same car and register it in any of the 50 states. And that will only be possible if emissions laws are the same nationally.

  2. Buran says:

    @aaron8301: No, they don’t. They just have to make a vehicle that meets the lowest common denominator — e.g. 50-state legal. This is just yet another case of big business whining that it costs too much to do the right thing.

  3. jwissick says:

    California needs its ass handed to them. They keep coming up with all these dumb ass ideas. Just another case of government trying to justify its own existence.

  4. B says:

    @aaron8301: I’d agree with you if I felt the Federal government was capable of passing decent emissions laws.

  5. James Sumners says:

    @aaron8301:

    OR the cars that meet the harshest requirements will become standard in all areas. What you are advocating is less rights for states. The differences between the 50 states is what makes each state appealing to those who decide to live there.

  6. ibanix says:

    @aaron8301:

    That’s *exactly* why California should implement these laws. We defacto control the car market, so we can override the crappy national legislation with something stronger.

    Go go Govenator!

  7. SacraBos says:

    As someone without breathing problems who thought he was going to DIE from the smog in Anaheim one time, I agree CA needs stronger emissions laws. When the smog can get so thick that you can hardly see the building across the street, something needs to be done. And in this case, it’s very clearly a local issue that the Fed can’t fix and shouldn’t prevent CA from addressing.

    North Texas is also having increasingly severe issues with daily Ozone Alerts, and cars driven predominately in these counties have to pass emissions tests as part of annual inspections.

    Face it, if 50% of the cars in Montana belched smoke into the air, it wouldn’t have the same impact if 50% of the cars in LA did the same. Different regions need different laws based upon the density of cars.

    So, I’m all for the Fed for declaring some minimum emissions standards, but if a State needs/wants something stricter, they should be able to. And if the car makers make the lowest denominator, then so be it.

    Sad part: if a area doesn’t mean clean air requirements, the Fed can pull some of their highway funding, so in effect, CA is being put into a Catch-22 by the Fed.

    @jsumners: I fail to see how that car makers decision, should they do that, is somehow a “State Right”?

  8. Heyref says:

    @aaron8301: First, the EPA ruling is in violation of established law and that California will win is a foregone conclusion.

    Second, You have always been able to register used 49-state cars in California, and it has never been a problem to register California cars in any other state.

    Third, the proposed federal regulations are a joke. They are a sell-out to the Detroit auto slugs.

    Fourth, I am always impressed with how quickly conservatives abandon the state’s rights doctrine when a state tries to do something they disagree with. It’s all well and good for a state to outlaw abortion or impose the death penalty for nose picking, but there is a hue and cry for federal intervention if a state tries to approve same-sex marriage or actually have a decent sex education program in public schools.

  9. mac-phisto says:

    @aaron8301: do you think it’s fair that states are held to different standards in enforcing federal air quality regulations, but are not allowed to have different standards for the vehicles that contribute to the pollution?

    this is the states with the heaviest burden (in terms of NAAQS compliance) speaking out that the current standards are not stringent enough.

    i live in 1 of these 13 states (connecticut). we have to work harder at keeping our air clean b/c 1) there’s a buttload of vehicles on our roadways, 2) we’re downwind from pretty much the entire country (including all those wonderful midwest coal power plants that refuse to install scrubbers).

    personally, i would like to breathe the air w/o contracting respiratory illnesses. & i like seeing the stars at nite. so the way i see it, you can let us implement stronger emissions standards on our own, or we can do it nationwide. but the epa’s current plan isn’t good enough.

  10. SacraBos says:

    @Heyref: Hey, not all conservatives are that way! I’m not against gay marriage. Let them suffer like the rest of us!

  11. kcrusher says:

    HYREF is spot on. This is a states rights issue plain and simple.

    As for car manufacturers having to make 13 different versions – they don’t, they just have to make one that attains the highest standard set by the states. Everyone stands to benefit from this.

    If you think we can continue gas guzzling and emitting CO2 and other pollutants at the rate we are, you are going to be in for some harsh awakenings soon…

  12. jwissick says:

    Horse crap. New cars are not the problem. Most new cars spit ZEROS out the tail pipe for as long as they are kept in good repair.

    And don’t even start claiming that global warming is caused by cars. There is NO proof that is the case. NONE.

  13. scampy says:

    @Buran:

    And if they did do what you think is the right thing, then all the people who need to buy cars would whine and complain that the cars all cost too much money and people wont be able to afford cars.

  14. Buran says:

    @jwissick: Taking care of global warming and ensuring public health by providing clean air is a “dumb ass idea”?

    Wow.

  15. AD8BC says:

    Time to stop selling cars in California.

    And human-caused global warming is a joke.

    Read the first chapter of Glenn Beck’s book “An Inconvenient Book” — He debunks the whole “we are melting the earth” theory in one chapter using the facts that Al Gore intentionally hid from you.

  16. Buran says:

    All you people claiming that there’s no proof that global warming is real and that car emissions are not a contributing factor have obviously not seen the scientific literature and don’t comprehend the difference between scientific and layman theory and what “scientific consensus” means.

    Show me accepted peer-reviewed research that proves your insane claims. Go on. Show me.

  17. meballard says:

    Existing federal law already says that California can set it’s own standards (with a waiver from the EPA), and that other states can choose to follow those standards. ALL OTHER waivers requested by the state of California (I believe about 49 of them) have been approved, existing precedent and all previous court ruling say that this is no different.

    This just makes the rules stricter, but it doesn’t change the situation of two standards in the US (only 2, federal, and California, these are the only bodies that can set regulations, all other states must follow one of the two), that has been the case for I believe 3 decades now. Also, if you meet California’s standards, you are 50 state legal. MINI USA already does this, they make one car that meet’s California’s regulations, and sell the same one nationwide.

    @JWISSICK: Cars, like so many other things, is a contributor. No one thing is the sole cause, no one thing can fix it. Besides, this is about more than global warming.

  18. scampy says:

    @sacrabos: probably 90% of that smog in Anaheim is from teactor trailers, dump trucks, and construction equipment. They are always spewing black smoke. THESE are the vehicles that need to be regulated to clean up the smog problem not passenger cars, pickups, and SUVs. Why is it every time there is a discussion about fuel efficiency and smog, nobody steps up and tries to regulate construction equipment and tractor trailers. Its always us SUV and pickup truck drivers that are targeted

  19. Buran says:

    @scampy: Well, guess what: there already are hundreds of 50-state legal cars out there! It’s already being done, and people are already constantly bitching that they can’t afford the BMW they want. Too damn bad, now enjoy that Hyundai. Awww, you can’t spend your home anymore to buy that fancy-schmancy car you “need”? Cry me a river.

  20. meballard says:

    The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are already taking large steps to clean up the air due to the transportation of goods through the port.

    Who says that they all can’t be cleaned up?

  21. Buran says:

    @ad8bc: Sorry. A layman’s book is not acceptable as ‘proof’.

  22. scampy says:

    @Buran:

    Ahh the same people who say those of us who dont believe in man made global warming are closed minded and not open to new ideas are themselves close minded and wont consider other people opinions that disagree with what they believe as gospel.

  23. cde says:

    @kcrusher: Or hell, they can make a lowest common standard car for different regions. Instead of 1 really high cost, 5 of different cost.

  24. AD8BC says:

    @Buran: He may be a layman but he is using actual data that was hidden by all the tree-huggers.

    Read it.

  25. cde says:

    @meballard: But, two things. One, who the fuck is the federal government to deny the states their rights to establishment of law, and two, who the fuck is California to merit a special exemption for that same right?

  26. mac-phisto says:

    this is not about global warming, folks. it’s about air quality & cars are a major contributor to airborne pollutants & particulates. these pollutants cause respiratory illnesses in high concentrations (asthma, lung cancer, etc.). this is well-documented & generally accepted. please, save the global warming debate for somewhere else. it’s not applicable here.

  27. Mattazuma says:

    The people rooting for California fuel economy rules (which is what CO2 emission rules are) are going to have to wait for the next president.

    But I bet whoever that is won’t give them the waiver either. Republicans won’t screw the US car companies and the Democrats won’t screw the UAW.

  28. AD8BC says:

    @cde: I’m really torn on this CDE. I believe in state’s rights. I also believe that letting individual states regulate gasoline formulas, car emissions, etc. is bad for things in general (imagine letting our gas companies make one really clean gas for everybody instead of having the individual states regulate their own legal formulas… gas would be cheaper to produce because the oil companies would only need one formula — even if it is more expensive compared to the many other formulas in today’s market.

  29. SacraBos says:

    @scampy: That smog I saw in the air wasn’t black! Diesel pollutes differently. It’s more sooty and particulate than gas. Different burn temps and compression ratios. Gas has more non-particulate gases that cause problems. Cars may produce less per vehicle, but you guys got an excrement-load of them out there in the LA area.

  30. meballard says:

    @cde: “But, two things. One, who the fuck is the federal government to deny the states their rights to establishment of law, and two, who the fuck is California to merit a special exemption for that same right?”

    1. Wouldn’t that support letting California set their own regulations?

    2. California is by a long shot the largest state (other than by physical size) in this country, with a very high percentage of cars, traffic, miles driven, etc, with an economy the size of a large country. Smog levels became a problem in this state early on due to these and other factors.

    Besides, this isn’t an argument over whether California has a right to set their own emissions regulations, that was set into federal law three decades ago.

  31. Buran says:

    @scampy: Scientific fact isn’t a “disagreement”.

    It’s just head-in-the-sand stupidity on the part of people who think the scientists are lying.

  32. Buran says:

    @cde: You might want to read about the history of CARB and why California actually has the right to set its own air quality standards, something denied to every other state (the closest anyone can get is to use the CARB standards if they don’t want to use the federal ones).

    That was argued decades ago.

  33. Buran says:

    @ad8bc: Really. Then why is there a huge, huge, HUGE body of peer-reviewed literature saying some lame idiot who thinks he knows better is wrong?

    Sorry. I’ll believe people who have actual proof and the data to prove it and the peer-reviewing to say “this is legit work” over some random guy with a word processing program.

    I’m not going to waste time having some jerk try to tell me decades of established research is BS. If anything is BS, the people running around screaming “LA LA LA LA LA LA LA I’M NOT LISTENING!!!!!” are full of it.

  34. James Sumners says:

    @sacrabos:

    I was referring to the states being able to make their own laws. Of course the decision of a car manufacturer to build all cars the same, regardless of the laws in which the car is to be sold, is not a state right. That’s a matter of economics. But arguing that a state shouldn’t be able to make up its own rules about vehicle emissions is, in my opinion, a statement that the federal government should be able to tell the state what laws they can and cannot make. That is something I don’t agree with. Of course, my state seceded over such things ;)

  35. Rusted says:

    Go California! I still remember brown air. If you can see it, don’t inhale.

  36. taka2k7 says:

    Ah, the global warmer deniers… the smelll…. cough cough…

    Seriously, those who can’t accept the established scientific literature about global warming and the human contribution are in the same league as those who : #1 – denied smoking is bad for you and #2 thought second hand smoke was just peachie. (Here’s hint, if you burn something and the smoke isn’t naturally occurring in your lungs, it’s probably not good for you.)

    Let me sum up why humans (and animals) always have an impact on their environment:
    - The Earth (the sphere we live on) is largely a closed system (yes, the Sun does have some variablity, and sure we get some interplanetary dust and such entering the atmosphere).
    - The atmosphere is constantly trying to reach equilibrium.
    - There is a band of variation (i.e. “the weather”) around an equilibrium that is normal. It’s being going on for about 4 billion years or so (no not 6000).
    - When new stuff is introduced into or taken out of the system (e.g. people, cars, trucks, buildings, cows, forests, etc.) then the system attempts to reach a new equilibrium.
    - Problem is, that we humans are putting in new or increased levels of gases and other stuff that isn’t leaving the system in any particular hurry (e.g. bad CFCs -> ozone hole -> ‘good’ CFCs -> smaller hole… eventually).

    I’d love to know where the pollution from cars, cows (meat production up 700% or so in past 30 years = more methane), and coal power plants goes. It doesn’t just disappear. It’s still there, and it builds up over time (e.g. mercury in fish)

    - Small inputs of stuff can be absorbed until a saturation level is reached;
    - When the inputs get too great, a whole new equilibrium and variability band must be reached (i.e. global warming).
    - You put waaaay to much of something into a system and your system will completely collapse or give you a runaway scenario (e.g. Venus).

    I don’t think anyone is seriously suggesting that we’re the next Venus. Still, given that we all live on the planet that we’re all collectively experimenting on, I’d rather not wait too long enough to find out the effect is not easily reversed.

    Thus, saying that humans have NO impact on the environment is totally and provably false.


    I used to live in CA and we had Stage 3 smog alerts all too often. Given the changes previously implemented, even with the growth those days are behind CA. Still, the lovely smog layer needs to go bye bye. The trucks coming out of the port need to be seriously cleaned up or removed (use a train to move the cargo inland before the cleaner trucks show up) (check out the asthma rate for kids in Long Beach if you don’t think that the trucks have an impact).

    ***

    Sorry for the rant, but people that are fat, dumb and happy with the excessive levels of pollution that humans produce, need to be smacked around and forced to live downwind form a coal plant or port.

  37. ExecutorElassus says:

    @Buran: no no! there’s disagreement! that means we need to have an open debate! teach kids BOTH sides, and let them decide for themselves!

    That’s why when I have kids, I’m going to teach them phrenology, astrology, and alchemy; to accompany their biology, astronomy, and chemistry. Can’t let those pointy-headed secularists wipe out our cherished American way of life. Next they’re going to try to force me to be gay and have abortions on Snowflake Day.

    Seriously, this has little to do with combating global warming. That’s just a nice side-effect. If you really think global warming is all some leftie conspiracy, then ignore that part: just check up on why California has the highest rate of childhood asthma in the country. THAT’S why they have the emissions standards.

    They’re going to win this case, and any conservative who’s opposed can hand in his credentials. Sorry, but this is a clear-cut state’s rights issue.