CARB Delays Meeting Until After The Inauguration

How much impact will a Trump presidency have on environmental issues? The California Air Resources Board has decided to postpone an upcoming meeting about extending its zero emissions mandate for cars sold within the state from December 8 until sometime in February. The purpose of the delay is to allow the members of CARB to get a better understanding of what the federal government intends to do about fuel economy and emissions regulations going forward says Stanley Young, a spokesman for the board

CARB logo

The Donald has chosen Myron Ebell to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Most people have probably never heard of Ebell, but climate activists certainly have. Last December, his portrait was seen on lamp posts all around Paris on flyers created by climate activists. According to the New York Times, he was labeled as one of “seven climate criminals” wanted “for destroying our future.” What has the mild mannered Mr. Ebell done to annoy so many people?

When you see those statistics that 97% of all scientist subscribe to the idea that human activity is responsible for global climate change, Ebell is part of the other 3% who disagree. He directs environmental and energy policy for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a libertarian advocacy
group that would make Ayn Rand proud. The group has never found a government regulation it likes, labeling all of them as bad for business. It may be helpful to understand where Ebell is coming from to know that the CEI is funded in part by the coal industry.

He is the person probably most responsible for Congressional opposition to President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, a series of policy initiatives designed to lower emissions from fossil fueled generating plants, particularly those that still rely on coal to generate electricity. Trump has promised to roll back most if not all of the EPA’s environmental regulations as a way of allowing American business to thrive.

His plan will probably work great for business, which will be free to pollute to their heart’s content without incurring any economic penalty. What is left unsaid is that taxpayers will eventually be left holding the bag for the costs of cleaning up the toxic mess that results.

Mr. Ebell is on record as saying that “a lot of third, fourth, and fifth rate scientists have gotten a long ways” by embracing climate change. He frequently mocks climate leaders like Al Gore. He calls the movement spearheaded by Gore the “forces of darkness” because “they want to turn off the lights all over the world.” He called Pope Francis’s 2015 encyclical on climate change “scientifically ill informed, economically illiterate, intellectually incoherent and morally obtuse.” Then he added, “It is also theologically suspect and large parts of it are leftist drivel.”

The major car companies have already begun lobbying the incoming administration to soften the proposed CAFE regulations that will take effect in the future. Some observers believe the CAFE system, which has been in place since the 1970’s, could be abolished all together. The car companies would love that. At last, they would be free to build nothing but high profit Escalades and Super Duper Duty pickup trucks — at least until the rising waters flood all the factories in Michigan.

But by then, all the car execs will be able to cash in their fat bonus packages and buy a ride to Mars aboard one of Elon Musk interplanetary transport ships, leaving the rest of us behind to sort things out. Investors are jubilant at the prospect of higher automaker profits. On Thursday, the stocks of Fiat Chrysler and General Motors surged to their highest closing price in more than a year. The climate and mankind be damned. Let nothing stand in the way if there’s money to be made.

Thirteen other states — New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Vermont, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, Maryland, Florida — follow the same rules and regulations promulgated by CARB. Together, they represent about a third of the entire US new car market.

Will states that supported Trump revoke their participation in the CARB format? Will the federal government mount a challenge to CARB based on the Commerce Clause of the Constitution? Anything is possible in United Hates of Trump but California and its activist Air Resources Board are not likely to be intimidated by Trump and his bluster. Fasten your seat belts.

Source: Automotive News



Steve Hanley

Closely following the transition from internal combustion to electricity. Whether it's cars, trucks, ships, or airplanes, sustainability is the key. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.