CARB versus the Carburetor

JAN. 31, 2012


The carburetor is losing the battle in California. Instead of acknowledging that auto designers and manufacturers are continually refining the internal combustion engine for efficiency, global warming activists want to scrap the engine.

In an attempt to rid the world of global warming, on Friday the California Air Resources Board announced new rules adding more regulations to require auto manufacturers to offer even more zero-, or very low-emission cars such as battery electric, hydrogen fuel cell and plug-in hybrid vehicles in California, by 2018.

The board also increased future emission standards for all new cars, making them the most stringent in the nation. In an attempt to remove smog-forming pollutants from new vehicles by 75 percent, and reduce total auto emissions by 30 percent, one-in-seven cars sold in California must be ultra-clean, and low- or no-emission by 2025. California is now dictating standards to the entire auto manufacturing industry.

According to the California Air Resources Board, new regulations requiring ultra-clean cars sold in California “will save drivers money on fuel, create jobs, cut smog and greenhouse gases, make California a world leader in clean car technology.” They don’t say how.

But given CARB’s history, there has been no discussion or even acknowledgment of the free market. Instead, auto makers are mandated to build products that consumers are not mandated to buy, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers reported after CARB’s announcement. “Mandates create a disconnect in the marketplace,” it said.

The California New Car Dealers Association and other auto-related industry groups representing businesses that sell cars reported that CARB overestimated consumer demand for electric vehicles and other so-called “zero-emission vehicles.”

Auto dealers and industry groups estimate that $3,200 would be added to the average price of a car or light truck because of the new regulations. Consumers have been slow to purchase the expensive, clean cars.

“We expect to go beyond that with other incentives we are hoping to be able to offer in terms of direct incentives to people who buy these cars (such as) rebates and credits,” CARB Chairwoman Mary Nichols said during a phone conference after the announcement.

More Regulations

CARB voted on the rules following a two-day hearing of the board that included presentations and testimony from automakers, environmentalists, politicians and consumer advocates. The rules will affect vehicles starting in the 2017 model year.

The rules are part of California’s very aggressive plan to reduce climate warming emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

“That’s actually a relatively modest goal, but that’s all that we’re mandating,” Nichols said during the conference.

But many in the auto industry say that because California is the largest car market in the U.S., CARB is dictating to the rest of the country by being able to set policy, independent of federal rules and regulations.

Few news stories report that new “clean” cars make up well below 1 percent of the entire car market. Because of the less-than-enthusiastic response from consumers, California was forced to scale back its Zero Emission Vehicle goals in the past because vehicle technology lagged state officials’ unrealistic plan for getting more clean cars on the road.

But those days are over.

California New Car Dealers Association said that demand for these types of vehicles has been overestimated by CARB. It appears they are now being ignored. Instead,  Nichols said that car manufacturers were in favor of the new rulings. “Probably the most heartening aspect of this whole rulemaking was the level of cooperation that we received from the industry. Overall, the degree of support for the package was just extraordinary,” Nichols said.

The cost to drivers outside of California is rarely addressed. Eleven unelected CARB members are dictating what kind of cars Americans in the other 49 states drive. The premium cost of those cars defies America’s free market system.

There is talk outside California on the auto news sites of Commerce Clause violations by CARB, and the potential for lawsuits filed outside of California in Federal District courts.  Given that CARB was established because Southern California has a unique ecosystem and unique air quality problems, imposing uniform national emissions standards outside of California is dramatically impacting the entire country.

Who Is CARB?

Five of the 11 California Air Resources Board members are required to come from regional air quality boards within California. Four of the remaining six are required to have some kind of related expertise. Currently, only two of the board members have any private-sector experience and only one comes from industry.

One of the CARB board members, John Balmes, M.D., is an environmental medicine specialist, and researches the effects of pollution on the lungs. The legal expert, Dorene D’Adamo, is a Democratic congressional aide for Congressman Dennis Cardoza, and specializes in environmental law. The automotive expert, Daniel Sperling, has a background in environmental engineering, alternative energy and the environmental aspects of transportation.

The governor appoints members of CARB with consent of the Senate. And the deck is clearly stacked.

Because fuel-efficient cars generate less tax revenue for governments, there have already been discussions in California about taxing cars per mile driven, and installing devices that report where drivers travel.

CARB’s answer to the decreased tax revenue is to force auto manufacturers to create more of the “clean” cars, which will eventually be mandated to drivers by California officials. The cars cost so much more than consumers are currently paying for autos that increased revenue from car sales taxes will more than offset any revenue declines from lower gas taxes.

What would Milton Friedman say?

Global ‘Warming’?

Last week the Wall Street Journal ran an article, “No Need to Panic About Global Warming,” signed by 16 notable climate scientists.

“There’s no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to ‘decarbonize’ the world’s economy,” the scientists wrote. “In fact, a large and growing number of distinguished scientists and engineers do not agree that drastic actions on global warming are needed. The reason is a collection of stubborn scientific facts.

“Perhaps the most inconvenient fact is the lack of global warming for well over 10 years now. This is known to the warming establishment, as one can see from the 2009 ‘Climategate’ email of climate scientist Kevin Trenberth: ‘The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.’

“The lack of warming for more than a decade—indeed, the smaller-than-predicted warming over the 22 years since the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) began issuing projections—suggests that computer models have greatly exaggerated how much warming additional CO2 can cause.”

Climate Lysenkoism

The scientists reported that, while the number of publicly dissenting scientists is growing, many young scientists say that while they also have serious doubts about the global-warming message, they are afraid to speak up for fear of not being promoted or terminated.

“This is not the way science is supposed to work, but we have seen it before—for example, in the frightening period when Trofim Lysenko hijacked biology in the Soviet Union.,” the scientists wrote. “Soviet biologists who revealed that they believed in genes, which Lysenko maintained were a bourgeois fiction, were fired from their jobs. Many were sent to the gulag and some were condemned to death.”

The scientists say that the entire reason for the “incontrovertible” global warming mantra is about money — “Follow the money.”

That’s certainly the case in California, where the CARB bureaucracy provides fat salaries and fatter pensions to “climate” bureaucrats, as well as tax-funded disasters such as the now-bankrupt Solyndra.


Write a comment
  1. larry 62
    larry 62 31 January, 2012, 14:15

    Anyone that believes they will save money by buying all electric is living in the ozone created by all those smog belching internal combustion engines. Somebody has to pay the taxes for highways and that means everyones taxes will go up someplace else, to make up for the lost tax revenue on gasoline.

    Reply this comment
  2. Joe Sullivan
    Joe Sullivan 31 January, 2012, 16:39

    I just sent the following letter to Governor Brown –
    Dear Governor Brown,

    I wrote you a letter last December challenging your statement: “The world doesn’t change the facts that greenhouse gases are building up. The main thing we have to deal with in climate change is the skepticism, the denial and the cultlike behavior of the political lemmings that would take us over the cliff.”

    My challenge stems from the fact that as a Geological Engineer for over a half century, one of 31,478 scientists registered in the Global Warming Petition Project, who oppose the plan to force the expenditure of billions of dollars trying to reduce carbon dioxide, are certainly not “political lemmings.”
    The political thrust contending that increase in carbon dioxide emissions contribute significantly to global warming is going to change the climatic future is a hoax, perpetrated by those who will benefit financially worldwide from expenditures of many billions on schemes to reduce carbon dioxide. Reducing CO2 will not effect climate change.

    The hoax has again been exposed by the recent release by the Met Office, the UK’s National Weather Service, whose new figures show there has been no planet warming in 15 years. The figures suggest we may be headed for a mini ice age. The figures show that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997. Leading climate scientists contend after emitting unusually high levels of energy throughout the 20th Century, the sun is now heading grand minimum output threatening cold summers and bitter winters. Sunspot numbers are running at less than half that seen during peaks in the 20th Century.

    The Earth warms and cools in 100,000 year cycles. Our planet has mostly been much hotter and humid than today, with far more carbon dioxide (CO2) than today. Earth’s atmosphere now contains about 380 ppm CO2 (0.038%). Compared to former geological times, our present atmosphere is CO2 impoverished. In the last 600 million years only one other geological period witnessed CO2 levels less than 400 ppm. To the consternation of global warming proponents, the late Ordovician Period 550 million ago was an Ice Age while at the same time CO2 concentrations were nearly 12 times higher than today, 4400 ppm. According to the greenhouse theory, it should have been exceedingly hot.

    Considering these factors human attempts to control the Earth’s climate are a pipe dream. Please revisit the subject as you have expressed belief in a global hoax.

    Joseph Sullivan
    Geological Engineer

    Reply this comment
  3. Hank
    Hank 31 January, 2012, 17:48

    The key to this scheme is that you must abandon all that you think to be so.
    We will “sell” the cars, produced by Government Motors to the 40% who are not working and therefore need some economic justice. The purchase will be through a grant from CARB. There you see how simple it is when you think outside the box. A simple solution that could only come from our betters. All upside, if you keep your eyes closed.

    Reply this comment
  4. JLSeagull
    JLSeagull 31 January, 2012, 21:08

    Mary Nichols is as delusional as Jerry Brown. They both should be committed to an institution. I wonder how the public would react if the entire automobile industry decided to boycott California by not sending any new cars to the state because of CARB’s Stalinist rules. Pray for Commerse Clause lawsuits.

    Reply this comment

Write a Comment

Leave a Reply

Related Articles

Kiplinger: CA taxes highest — and state hostile to retirees, too

Over the years, when I’ve reported that the nation’s CEOs continue to rank California as the most anti-business state in

CA on sidelines as brown energy revolution unfolds

In the 41 years since the OPEC cartel begin throwing its weight around, U.S. consumers have gotten used to fluctuations

Assembly Dems play politics with sequestration bill

March 1, 2013 By Katy Grimes SACRAMENTO — Yesterday in the California Assembly the Democratic majority played fast and loose with