Friday, February 22, 2019

Climate Change Black Death surrounds us
The Deplorables to advance Climate Change Black Death by trading The California Green and Gold Deal for "more affordable" new cars for older voters

These headline stories from the Sacramento Bee and New York Times reflect the culmination of a 20± year clash between Californians and Americans who if they can buy cheaper cars don't care if they are condemning their children and grandchildren to suffer Climate Change Black Death.

A critical piece of The California Green and Gold Deal has been California's regulations cutting emissions from motor vehicles through California Air Resources Board (CARB) high fuel efficiency standards pursuant to a 2002 law. By 2007 the dispute with the federal government became heated as explained in the article Schwarzenegger: California will sue federal government:

    California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger plans to sue the federal government over its decision not to allow a California plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, he announced Thursday.
    Environmental Protection Agency chief Stephen Johnson announced the decision Wednesday, refusing the state's request for a waiver that would have allowed it to cut emissions faster than a new federal plan the president signed into law Wednesday.
    "It's another example of the administration's failure to treat global warming with the seriousness that it actually demands," the governor said at a news conference Thursday.
    Bush on Thursday defended the decision of his EPA administrator.
    "Is it more effective to let each state make a decision as to how to proceed in curbing greenhouse gases? Or is it more effective to have a national strategy?" he said.
    Citing the new energy law -- which sets a fuel economy standard for the whole country -- Bush said Johnson "made a decision based upon the fact that we passed a piece of legislation that enables us to have a national strategy."
    But Schwarzenegger said he would like to set a higher standard for California. "Anything less than aggressive action on the greatest environmental threat of all time is inexcusable," he said.
    The new federal law will increase fuel efficiency standards by 40 percent by 2020, requiring automakers to bring their fleets to an average of 35 miles per gallon.
    The California plan, however, would cut emissions by nearly 30 percent by 2016, raising fuel efficiency standards in the state to 43.7 miles per gallon for passenger cars and some SUVs and trucks, while larger vehicles would need to reach 26.9 mpg by that year.
    In all, 16 states had either adopted California's tough standards or announced plans to do so.

Of course, the following year we had a Presidential election. It was won by Barack Obama and in 2010 we read U.S. Issues Limits on Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Cars which explained:

    The accord produced a single national standard based on California’s tough auto emissions law, enacted in 2004. The automakers have complained of the cost of compliance but welcomed a national plan that does not require them to build different vehicles for different markets to comply with varying state laws.

But the federal standards have not kept pace with The California Green and Gold Deal ever more restrictive standards. As Wikipedia explains:

    The United States has its own set of emissions standards that all new vehicles must meet. In the United States, emissions standards are managed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Under federal law, the state of California is allowed to promulgate more stringent vehicle emissions standards (subject to EPA approval), and other states may choose to follow either the national or California standards. California had produced air quality standards prior to EPA, with severe air quality problems in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. LA is the country's second-largest city, and relies much more heavily on automobiles and has less favorable meteorological conditions than the largest and third-largest cities (New York and Chicago).
    California's emissions standards are set by the California Air Resources Board, known locally by its acronym "CARB". By mid-2009, 16 other states had adopted CARB rules; given the size of the California market plus these other states, many manufacturers choose to build to the CARB standard when selling in all 50 states. CARB's policies have also influenced EU emissions standards.
    California is attempting to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles, but faces a court challenge from the federal government. The states are also attempting to compel the federal EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, which as of 2007 it has declined to do. On May 19, 2009 news reports indicated that the Federal EPA will largely adopt California's standards on greenhouse gas emissions.
    California and several other western states have passed bills requiring performance-based regulation of greenhouse gases from electricity generation.
    In an effort to decrease emissions from heavy-duty diesel engines faster, the California Air Resources Board's Carl Moyer Program funds upgrades that are in advance of regulations.
    The EPA has separate regulations for small engines, such as groundskeeping equipment. The states must also promulgate miscellaneous emissions regulations in order to comply with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

Today if you go to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles website you can read:

Unless it is exempt, your vehicle must comply with the California emissions standard if it has less than 7,500 miles on the odometer and is
  • a model year of 1996 or newer passenger vehicle or light-duty truck that has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 6,000 lbs. or less
  • a model year 2000 or newer light-duty truck that has a GVWR of 8,500 lbs. or less
  • a model year 2004 or newer medium duty vehicle that has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 14,000 lbs. or less
  • a model year 2005 or newer heavy-duty otto-cycle or diesel vehicle that has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) over 14,000 lbs

The current problem is reflected in this headline NJ Cleanup of Car Emissions Put at Risk as Feds Exit California Talks. Or as one less measured website noted:

    They begged Washington to roll back the hated Obama era regulations but the Trumpies gave them more than they asked for — a total abrogation of any plans to lower exhaust emissions from 2020 levels. Officially, as of this very minute, America has no plan to clean up auto emissions past next year. Let Europe drive its auto industry over a cliff with Level 6 pollution rules. Let China distort its automotive market with burdensome requirements to build electric cars.
    In America, we are free to put a lip lock on the tailpipe of an Escalade if we choose to. It’s right there in the Constitution — somewhere. In the meantime, car makers will be forced to build cars for two different standards, the last thing in the world they wanted.
    According to a report by Reuters, EPA head Andrew Wheeler, whose claim to fame on environmental matters is that he was once a lobbyist for the coal industry, met with Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board, two weeks ago, but there were no substantive discussions at that time.
    According to CARB spokesman Stanley Young. “The administration broke off communications before Christmas and never responded to our suggested areas of compromise — or offered any compromise proposal at all. We concluded at that point that they were never serious about negotiating.” A confidential source tells Reuters EPA officials did not work on the rule during the government shutdown. “There was no real effort to get to yes,” the source said.
    California has refused to knuckle under to the alleged president, opposing him on legalized marijuana and making California a sanctuary state for illegal aliens. Now Trump sees his chance to get even. The Golden State has spearheaded the movement to make cars pollute less for the past 40 years, convincing 18 other states to join in along the way. Now the maladministration will try to rupture that cooperation between the states.

California has been fighting the lack of federal commitment to Climate Change mitigation since The Terminator became our Governor. Current Governor Gavin Newsom will continue to lead the fight. There is some uncertainty. While the E.P.A. had planned to complete the rollback proposal by the end of March, the partial government shutdown moved that back to May or June.

Hopefully continuing that fight won't be necessary beginning in 2021. But the National Democratic Party has a way of shooting itself in the foot. And Trump is working bigly on getting reelected!

The 21st Century Climate Change Black Death is happening now.
                                                                                                          If you're new to this blog here's the link to the listing of the 30+ previous posts in the Blog regarding Climate Change and the Environment.

This post is a part of a series:  climate change black death surrounds us 

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