Reuters reports that California has Air Resources Board has gone ahead and adopted rules requiring auto manufacturers to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2009 and by 34% by 2016. These are actually a bit more aggressive than the draft we talked about a few months ago. It's likely that the auto industry will sue to stop the implementation of these rules, thereby delaying the inevitable.
I can't believe that Aaaahhhhnold hasn't stepped in to stop this bunch of girly men who can't take a little pollution for the sake of economic fitness.
Kudos to the Air Resources Board for admirable chutzpah.
Credit Where Credit Is Due Dept:
I sincerely doubt Arnold disagrees with his panel, which voted unanimously for the new plan. Even setting aside the considerable public health costs, California's economy is going to suffer tremendously from the impacts of global warming.
As succintly put in the NYT today:
"The board's staff presented a broad overview of recent scientific research, which it said showed how the warming of the planet has already contributed to a variety of health problems.
In California, rising temperatures would bring a variety of specific risks, the board staff said. Higher temperatures impede the state's battle with smog and can worsen forest fires. They also contribute to the early melting of mountain snow, which can lead to winter flooding and less water runoff for crop irrigation in the spring, threatening the state's $3.2 billion wine industry.
**[and, I would assume, many other corners of CA's ag industry.]**
The board staff also said that rising sea levels, another symptom of the problem, threaten coastlines and could contaminate the state's supply of fresh water.
"The patient here is the earth and its habitants," said an air board member, Dr. Henry Gong, the chief of environmental health service at the Rancho Los Amigos Medical Center. "The treatment option is here before us today."
A top auto industry lobbyist brushed aside the presentation, calling the theory of global warming "a big if."
The lobbyist, Fred Webber, president of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a lobbying group that includes Toyota, General Motors and all of the major international automakers except Nissan and Honda, said in a statement: "Californians would see no health benefits under this regulation."
He added in an interview during a break at the hearing: "I come from Maine and we had one of the coldest winters on record. It was very, very cold. A lot of people are scratching their beans about whether global warming is occurring. It's a question worth addressing, but on a global basis."
**[this guy Webber will surely go down on the list of global climate criminals in some future decade. Equating Maine to California: uh huh. And dealing with it globally means...in every part of the globe, right? and it's a truism that as goeth cars in Califormia, so goeth cars in the rest of the U.S.]**