Effect Measure

California bound (and tied)

Stephen Johnson is a career professional, now the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. He is reported to be very religious and to hold prayer meetings with select staff at the start of the day. Apparently he also takes “render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s” seriously. Too bad he doesn’t take the US law and his sworn responsibility to protect its citizens from environmental hazards as seriously. New revelations show he is a liar, morally corrupt and intellectually dishonest. I guess prayer has its limits as a motivator of probity:

Environmental Protection Agency chief Stephen Johnson originally backed California’s effort to set the nation’s toughest vehicle emissions limits, but he dropped his support under pressure from the White House, according to a new congressional report.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, said the new details – revealed in sworn testimony from top EPA officials – showed that the White House “played a decisive role in the rejection of the California motor vehicle standards” in December.

A spokesman for the EPA said Johnson stands by his decision and called the report “distraction-oriented political tactics.”


EPA Associate Deputy Administrator Jason Burnett told the committee in a deposition that Johnson “was very interested in a full grant” of California’s waiver in August and September of last year. Later in autumn, Burnett said, the EPA administrator came to believe that a partial grant of the waiver “was the best course of action.”

A partial grant would have allowed the state to implement its rules for several years, starting with 2009 model years.
The committee staff then pressed Burnett on whether the White House had communicated its views about California’s request to Johnson.

“I believe the answer is yes,” he replied. But Burnett said he’d been instructed by EPA not to answer further questions about the White House’s role.

Asked if Johnson had changed his view after his discussions with the White House, Burnett said, “He ultimately decided to deny the waiver.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

Etc., etc., meaning more of what we have come to expect from this gang of crooks. It’s now pretty clear that Johnson and his staff thought either a full or partial waiver was indicated for California but that Johnson overruled his entire staff and his own judgment at the behest of the White House:

The administration has long opposed efforts by California and at least 16 other states to set more-stringent vehicle emissions standards to fight global warming. Johnson’s decision thrilled the auto industry, which had been seeking to block California’s rules in the courts. California and other states have sued the EPA over the December decision.

The decision has high stakes: New federal fuel economy rules, cited by Johnson when he made his decision, would require cars and trucks to get 35 miles per gallon by 2020. But the rules California proposed are much tougher – requiring 44 miles per gallon by 2020, which state officials say would cut greenhouse gases 74 percent more than federal law.

Waxman’s report Monday contained other details: It had been revealed earlier that Johnson overruled his own legal and technical staff in denying California’s waiver request, but the new report showed the depth of the EPA staff’s opposition.
During a Sept. 21 meeting, Johnson pulled his staff into a room and polled them on what he should do. Not a single staffer opposed the waiver, several EPA officials who attended the meeting told the committee.

The staffers agreed that California had met the “compelling and extraordinary conditions” required by the Clean Air Act to grant a waiver. Karl Simon, who heads the unit within the Office of Transportation and Air Quality that handles waivers, said he told Johnson at an Oct. 31 meeting that if EPA denied the state’s request, “I think the odds are we will lose” in court.

Several EPA veterans told the committee they were stunned by Johnson’s decision because everything in the record supported the state’s case.

“Yes, I was surprised,” said Rob Brenner, director of Policy Analysis and Review for the agency. “… The analyses that had been put together seemed to point towards either a full or a partial waiver.

“It was difficult to see how (Johnson) arrived at that decision, given the information that had been provided and the consensus among the staff,” said Maureen Delaney, a program analyst in the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “… It seemed like a difficult place to get to.”

We earlier noted that the White House was stonewalling the committee, and indeed refused to turn over 32 subpoenaed documents on grounds of “executive privilege.” One wonders what else we don’t know about this sorry episode. The fact that the committee got the statements it did on the record and under oath is itself remarkable and a measure of the degree of dismay amongst EPA professionals.

In some ways none of this is a surprise, in itself a really pathetic commentary on the current administration. On the other hand, having it confirmed is still a jolt. The only thing I can think of is there are only 243 days left for these moral cretins at the wheel of the bus. They drove it into a ditch. It’s not going to be easy pulling it out.


  1. #1 carey
    May 21, 2008

    As you say, this is not a surprise. Businesses trumpet “laissez-faire” and donate generously to those politicians who promise minimal regulation. The only real surprise is how quickly even good, principled people can be worn down by this political machinery, ending up as tawdry political whores.

  2. #2 M. Randolph Kruger
    May 21, 2008

    Revere-behind the skulduggery of reports and executive privilege lets look at the effects of what you are suggesting. Beyond the California stuff there is a place called Detroit and by whatever means, globalization, NAFTA etc… we have regulated them into a hole. What hasnt been regulated has been pushed towards that hole by the unions and they are right on the edge of taking the whole industry from American hands and putting it into foreign hands. Both have served to make the industry uncompetitive for US companies to produce cars. Add in the effect of California and their emission controls and mileage regulations, it would have finished them

    Jump out to 16 states with emission and fuel standards and it would take them out of business. The car companies would simply target certain states where the big markets are and produce cars for that state only.

    You may not be aware of it but literally 1/4th of all retail sales in the US are related to cars. Parts manufactured here get sent to Mexico, they do a partial assembly and then they are sent back. In some cases all they do is drill a hole in something. But they come back and they are then made into assemblies, then the assemblies are sold to another manufacturer who makes the next higher assembly and finally it ends up on the line after a minimum of 2 assemblages, each bearing sales taxes and federal income tax.

    Then the car is sold and it generates the state and federal taxes as both sales or income taxes. GM if they were to collapse would take the retirements of some 250,000 living employees that the federal government would have to back up in part with various federal retirement protection plans that we the tax payers would have to back up. Not to mention the fact that if it happened that the domino effect would take lots of companies on the way to the bottom, all in the same boat. Thats nearly 2 million people suddenly becoming wards of the US government.

    Now we have the 16 states who think that the USGovt standards are not stringent enough and if the air gets worse, they simply keep raising the bar and no one makes cars at some point in time. Loss of both retail and federal income taxes and remember we now at that time would have 2 million people over retirement age with nothing except a minimal payment from Social Security and a minimal payment from the federal retirement trusts.

    16 states with power to regulate an interstate industry is unacceptable to any federal government. Democrat, Republican or Independent. It simply wont work. It might get down to “emissions checks” where you cant drive through their state with a 10 year old Volvo.

    You might be right about the skulduggery and I like a complete and open government because it belongs to us and not them. I sent your post to both Senators offices today and the response was quick about the skulduggery, they will look into that. The other part was explained just about as what I have above. We can kill off yet another industry with standards and then be dictated as to which little electric box we might have or something that takes a week to accelerate to speed by some other country. But we wont be able to buy them because our jobs will have left for greener pastures.

    For this administration, its the reason that the out of touch GB 1 administration was defeated…. Its the economy stupid…This most assuredly is the reason that we are seeing this stuff you mention. I think you got it right but perhaps not the reasons?

  3. #3 revere
    May 21, 2008

    Randy: I would think you would be susceptible to the argument that “the law is the law,” and the law clearly states when such waivers should be given.

  4. #4 Tasha
    May 21, 2008

    Randy – I don’t find your arguments that the waiver would regulate the auto industry out of business to be compelling. First of all, the technology to make more efficient cars is readily available and has already infiltrated the market, so we’re not talking years of research needed to meet impossible standards. Second, the is a high demand for these efficient cars. The Toyota Prius, despite the high sticker price compared to similar gas cars, has become one of the best selling cars out there.

    This is more than a governmental mandate. This is a market demand. 16 states – that’s a lot of car owners – are asking for a better product. Are we going to deny those market forces to cater to an inferior product? Are we going to let the auto industry pull the quality of their products down to the lowest common denominator just because they don’t want to progress with the times?

    At one point in history, yes, I would say that global competition (i.e. lower wages overseas) led in large part to the demise of the American auto industry. But now they have a chance to revitalize their industry and follow consumer demand. Instead of fighting what the consumers want, they should be finding ways to profit off of it!

  5. #5 M. Randolph Kruger
    May 21, 2008

    Tasha-With all due respect you dont understand how they work in Detroit. To come up with 16 or however many vehicles to supply those customers you speak of is untenable. They would go broke.

    Prius is a very fine example of how to create an expensive Bill Maher throwaway car. Battery replacements are even more hugely expensive and when they go, they go. 5-10,000 to change the batteries. And there isnt enough cadmium on the planet to make what you want. Recycling it drop its into the environment and you think air pollution is bad, try cadmium in the water.


    BTW-I might be susceptible to that argument Revere, but its in the face of economics too. None of this stuff is feasible under todays costs basis…for now.

    As for the skulduggery, I just want them to do it in an open manner. We all want that.

    Tasha, they are not asking for a better product they are asking for a viable one. Cadmium release into the environment isnt so green. Another thing is that when a Prius is hit in the battery box it creates the most furious of fires and explosions you can imagine. At least there isnt a gas tank to blow. The rising gas prices makes just about every technology out there viable, hydrogen, battery, Prius, etc. But the second we start to make a change, they are simply going to drop the price out from under that technology. I personally believe that a threat of a requirement to move to electric tech cars will result in a massive drop in the oil prices. Of course you cant drive one in Boston, Chicago or basically anywhere above the Mason-Dixon line because its too cold but, that escapes these people. You might use it sparingly, but no just go and jump into the car and blow out 100 miles in any direction and expect to go back. There are also problems with the possibilities of thermal overload where the batteries go runaway either one cell or more than one cell. All bad and you have to evacuate the car if it happens. If it melts then you have hazmat cleanup. Its greener than gasoline or diesel sitting in the driveway and while its being used. Post of that, there are many problems. The technology exists if you are willing to take on a new problem for an older one.

    Wikipedia and others….Disadvantages”

    The primary trade-off with NiCd batteries is their higher cost. They require extra labor to manufacture, and thus, are typically more costly than lead-acid batteries. Typically nickel and cadmium are more costly materials than those used for lead-acid cells. Another disadvantage of NiCds is that certain usage patterns may cause a “false bottom” effect. Specifically, if the battery is consistently discharged to the same level, then fully recharged, the battery will eventually stop discharging on its own upon reaching this threshold. (See Memory and lazy battery effects below for more details on this effect).

    One of the Nickel-Cadmium’s biggest disadvantages was that the battery exhibited a very marked negative temperature coefficient. This meant that as the cell temperature rose, the internal resistance fell. Thus could pose considerable charging problems particularly with the relatively simple charging systems employed for lead-acid type batteries. Whilst lead-acid batteries could be charged by simply connecting a dynamo to it, with a simple electromagnetic cut out system for when the dynamo is stationary, or an over current occurs, the nickel-cadmium under a similar charging scheme would exhibit thermal runaway, where the charging current would continue to rise until the over current cut out operated or the battery destroyed itself. This was the principal factor that prevented its use for engine starting batteries. Today with alternator based charging systems with solid state regulators, the construction of a suitable charging system would be relatively simple, but the car manufacturers are reluctant to abandon tried and tested technology. In any event, nickel-cadmium technology is falling out of favour.”

    I would never hang my hat on a Prius for other than a single commute a day. Anything after that? If we go to electric carts that have to be charged, the power grid will also have to be revamped and only nukes will be able to handle the load or plan on ten coal burners for every nuke thats not there. Disposal costs for a Prius are high too. They are already covered in NiCad battery regulations. Its a hazmat and has to be conducted only by trained personnel. They aint going to do that for free.

    With a battery car you are not going to be able to jump in the car and head for the wide open newly cleaned air spaces. For one they wont be there as SE Asia produces enough shit in the air for everyone on the planet. Clean Air Act standards that cannot be met in a relatively stable population environment and with a declining economic base indicate that the problem originates somewhere else. The pollution has to be coming from somewhere other than the US. Think of it, we have lost all sorts of businesses that are air polluters, we have regulated them for pushing on 30 years and the air is still getting more dirty. So where is the pollution coming from? Well if you are a Bush Basher, or an anti-American you have to say it is us. In fact Hawaii with all of its smelters, coal fired powerplants, iron coke metal processors doesnt meet the Clean Air Act. Nor does Alaska in most places because of the same reasons. Of course none of those things exist there Tasha, but they dont meet the standards set.

    So the pollution comes from where? All the way across the Pacific from S.E. Asia and India.

    We have to have standards, but we also have to have level playing field too. The US has not operated in its national interests in over 20 years and we are seeing the effects of it. It will get worse. Al Gore and his ilk have sold us down the river on an agenda and without that level playing field we will be driving horse driven carts or battery ones. And we will have regulated ourselves out of being a superpower. Not a good position to be in.

    The answers are not bigger than the questions, but they need to be to fix it.

  6. #6 Scott
    May 21, 2008

    First, the proposed regulations do not apply only to cars made in the U.S., but to cars sold in the agreeing states regardless of where they come from. They apply equally to all manufacturers, U.S. or foreign. Are you saying that American manufacturers simply cannot compete? That U.S. manufacturers simply cannot create cars that people want to buy? The same arguments were made about seat belt regulations, then about air bags, and those arguments were wrong then, too. Now seat belts and air bags are marketing advantages.
    Second, there are not (as you state) 16 different regulations that apply. There are only two: the US rules and the California rules. States can choose one set or the other. This isn’t a new law. Congress, in its capacity to regulate interstate commerce, intentionally wrote the law to do just that: establish two sets of regulations. There have been two sets of regulations since the Clean Air act was first passed ~30 years ago.
    Third, you argue that some plausible technologies have downsides, therefore the task is impossible. Perhaps you are saying that, given the right incentives, American manufacturers are incapable of innovation?
    Fourth, you argue that because there are other sources of pollution, we should not try to do anything about our own. Hogwash. “Hey, my neighbor is throwing garbage on my front lawn, so I should be allowed to throw garbage on my front lawn to make it fair.”
    Your “arguments” are specious, and show no foresight or imagination.

  7. #7 M. Randolph Kruger
    May 21, 2008

    Scott-thats exactly what I am saying. If things continue the way they are GM, Ford and Chrysler are going the way of the dino’s.

    On the contrary Scott, they are attempting to try to create 16 new sets of regulations and you can choose one or the other or not.

    The plausible technologies ? You are putting words into my mouth. I prefer to do it myself. Not impossible, but very improbable in todays marketplace. The cost of copper alone if we slipped to electric cars would be incredible. I am a GM, Ford, Toyota, Mazda, Chrysler and Honda vendor. We see a lot of information before you do and none of them at this present time think we can hit the emission standards as set forth. Americans ARE innovation but there is a limit to technology to fix problems.

    You again put words into my mouth that are not there. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, if WE are going to have to comply with pollution standards THEY SHOULD HAVE TO AS WELL and IMMEDIATELY.

    You are one of the Bush Bashers or a go green at all costs? We are already seeing the price in human lives from putting food into our gas tanks. The bottom line will have to be the bottom line.

    Forethought…Shit son thats all I think about is forethought. You make a statement like that and I post up stuff that shows just that and you simply discount it. Why? Its obvious that electric cars might make a dent in pollution problems. Why dont they just mandate electric cars in Cal and 16 other states? It would be a rapid jump to the front of the line.


    Here is one that supports your argument a bit.


    But in the long run, its going to have to be more viable than it is now. Those battery and drive train problems might be fixed, or not. Not enough resources to put that many cars on the street at the current prices…. One thing it will do is pollute the environment from copper smelting. Each answer creates a whole new set of problems.

    Your post does show one thing… bias.

  8. #8 Rich
    May 21, 2008

    Why do you people let randy, who obviously has nothing better to do, hijack thread after thread.

  9. #9 Scott
    May 21, 2008

    Sorry, but AFAIK you’re wrong. California is the only state that is allowed to set different (stricter) air quality regulations for tailpipe emissions. Other states can choose to accept California’s regulations (with no local modifications), or they can stick with the federal regulations (with no local modifications). One plus one equals “2”, not “16”.


    “They should have to as well, and immediately.” But these are other sovereign countries. Who is going to make them follow US pollution standards? And if they do not follow US pollution standards, what should the US do?

    “You are one of the Bush Bashers or a go green at all costs?” Bush Basher? You bet. I hate the notion that ideology can trump reality. “Green at all costs?” Hardly. My position is a much more modest, “We can do better”.

    “We are already seeing the price in human lives from putting food into our gas tanks. The bottom line will have to be the bottom line.” What does this mean? Ethanol isn’t going “green”. It’s going stupid, because it costs more in energy to produce than it generates, and (as you say) it competes with food for scarce resources. And pushing ethanol is a key Bush initiative, which I oppose. So I guess I’m a Bush-Basher and a “Green-Basher” at the same time. ?

    I agree with your last few paragraphs. Sure, there are trade offs There’s no perfect solution, and may never be. Heck, just the steel, aluminum, and rubber for cars exacts a huge environmental cost, but I’m not advocating getting rid of cars.

    I also agree that any solution also has to be economically viable. But that’s just the problem that California is trying to solve. (In theory) no single company is going to invest in a new technology, because the other companies can undercut it using the old technologies. Stasis. One way to break the stasis is to raise the bar for all companies, raising the incentives to do “good” for the economy as a whole, reducing the disincentives to innovate.

    Yet in practice companies are already investing on their own. Honda and GM, just to pick a couple of your examples:


    “Why don’t they just mandate electric cars…?” Because, just like mandating use of Ethanol, that would actually constrain the possible solutions. Maybe (as you note) electric cars aren’t the best solution. It’s better to set a goal, and let the individual companies decide how they want to achieve those goals. (There is the chicken-and-egg problem of needing new kinds of “fueling” stations, but even Honda is working on that one.)

    My only “bias” here is that I think we can do better. And that the Federal government should actually follow the law that the Federal government wrote, and let California try to do better.

  10. #10 Tasha
    May 21, 2008

    Thanks, Scott. You hit all the points I was hoping to in your comments. I feel exactly the same way. The California rules will help us environmentally, and will put the car manufacturers on a level playing field, thereby creating incentives to invest in cleaner technologies. Just because current technologies aren’t perfect is no reason to stick with status quo.

  11. #11 M. Randolph Kruger
    May 21, 2008

    Scott and Tasha-those other states are trying to get the “California” right to mandate their own standards. Even now it adds a box load of costs to the purchase price of a car. If we had 50 different standards for 50 different states, how can or could the car manufacturers possibly make any money. They make their cash off repetition and extended parts lines with the same particular parts by units.

    I fought against the ethanol thing Scott. Thats as bad as having an unregulated chemical dump in your back yard. Tennessee decided to subsidize it and when it finally dawned on them they got the big picture. This year is subsidized, next year cut by 1/2 and then the following year gone. I got an apology from my next door neighbor Senate majority leader. Not enough information he said to confirm what I sent him. Oh well.

    Rich-It currently is a free country… try a different blog if it makes you uncomfortable.

    Tasha it will NOT put the car companies on a level playing field because you miss or ignore the key point and that is that no matter what we do, what we change the people in SE Asia produce enough GHG’S and smog to travel completely across the Pacific into Alaska, Hawaii and even as far east as Chicago. I have pictures from two satellites that proves this. Its like posts on CFC’s and harm to the ozone layer…. unless everyone stops what they are doing, it doesnt matter what we do here. They are happily producing the shit on the other side of the planet and using it. So we stop, it increases their costs and they say Montreal What?

    Thats the problem with the Kyoto accords which is that we have to shut down yet another industry in lieu of them for 40 years before they comply. I am sorry but thats two generations nearly three and it would flatten our economy like a rock. Our cost basis continues to rise daily here and its going to kill the economy. There simply is no alternative to fossil fuels that is cheap, plentiful and available.

    I repeat, they generate enough to pollute all of California right now beyond the Clean Air Act standards for several gas emissions. Anyone that wants to see it just say so and I’ll put my email address up there.

  12. #12 Tasha
    May 21, 2008

    I don’t know how many times this can be said, but this is not 50 different regulations in 50 different states. This is two different regulations, one more stringent than the other. The other 15 states are suing along with California so that they can use California’s standard…

    “Tasha it will NOT put the car companies on a level playing field because you miss or ignore the key point and that is that no matter what we do, what we change the people in SE Asia produce enough GHG’S and smog to travel completely across the Pacific into Alaska, Hawaii and even as far east as Chicago.”

    You are talking about two completely different things and I’m having a hard time following you. What I’m saying is that standardized regulations actually help the market to some extent because it raises the bar that everyone must obtain. Nobody has to compete with low-cost, gas-guzzling, POS-manufacturer Joe, because Joe’s cars are illegal to sell. And it doesn’t matter if Joe manufactured his cars in Asia or Detroit, they’re still illegal to sell in California, and Oregon, and the other states suing to use the higher standards. Now, if Joe wants to continue selling his cars in Asia, so be it. We can’t control that. But he’d be denying his company to a fairly high (and growing) share of the market.

    Did you know that after the lead toy fiasco, toy manufacturers actually lobbied to have stricter standards? They couldn’t compete with the Chinese manufacturers that had looser manufacturing processes, and allowed higher lead content to make cheaper toys. The manufacturers wanted everybody, American and foreign, held to the same standards. Even capitalism needs a little regulatory help sometimes.

    And to reiterate Scott’s previous comment, just because Asia is continuing to pollute does not mean that we should stoop to that level. If anything we should set a higher standard and that standard will affect the market. Looser regulations just leave us in a world with gas guzzling cars and lead in our toys.

  13. #13 Scott
    May 21, 2008

    Perhaps you didn’t read the Wikipedia article I referenced. I live in Oregon. Voters in Oregon and Washington did not vote to create their own standards. The majority of voters chose to join California and accept the California standards. That’s what the ballot measure said. The ballot measure said nothing about creating our own standards. I don’t know about the other States, but it would be illegal for them to create their own standards.

    I’m afraid that if you can’t get your basic verifiable facts straight, it calls into question the veracity of your other positions as well.

    I’ll repeat my two questions:
    1. Who is going to make them [the other countries] follow US pollution standards? [as you say they must]
    2. And if they do not follow US pollution standards, what should the US do?

  14. #14 Art
    May 21, 2008

    It is always fun to read what someone says when they are talking out of their hat, actually my opinion is somewhat south of that but, this being a family blog …

    The Prius doesn’t use, and has never used, NiCd batteries. It used Nickel metal hydride (NiMH) batteries. As soon as the engineers get it right, expected in a couple of years, it will be using lithium ion batteries. So about 70% or your argument, pollution and the availability of cadmium, is, how do I say this politely, ‘horse hockey’.

    Second, the local fire departments have not experienced any of your doom and gloom claims that “when a Prius is hit in the battery box it creates the most furious of fires and explosions you can imagine”. There are other issues they are having to adapt to but exceptionally huge fires are not one of them. You also have no idea how big an explosion I can imagine. Not everyone is as unimaginative as you are.

    Your obviously ignorant about batteries and charging systems in general, NiCd batteries have been used for decades and they have none of the tragic charging issues you claim. They require a slightly different charging system but this problem was solved fifty years ago.

    The claim that the Prius doesn’t, can’t, work in the cold just shows your ignorance. They work quite well in the cold. Showing no more problems with temperature than most gasoline powered cars.

    All of these baseless claims amount to flagrant evidence of your bias and willingness to confuse and obstruct a trend you had decided didn’t like before you even got the facts straight. A charge your obviously so sensitive to that you feel the need to toss it off casually as covering fire for your own prejudice.

  15. #15 M. Randolph Kruger
    May 21, 2008

    Scott/Tasha-Again, it does give a state the right to set its own standards and it could and would be 16 different standards if those states chose to create their own. They can adopt the California standards… or set their own. AND they are subject to change. What do you do when you cant find a car that complies and is cheap enough to own? You keep riding the POS that you bought under the old system. This is NOT an adoption by resolution of 16 states, its the legislatures taking the matter into their own hands and then coming up with their own regulations. Say again, OWN. Cant have this happening. Its a revolt by these states for sure,but the technology doesnt exist to produce such cars now. EFI for starts isnt that capable, and the addition of turbo’s only limit the life of cars. The first standards produced high compression engines that would diesel for minutes after the engine was shut off. The fix, close the choke and starve it of air. Only problem was that it created more emissions from that than running it.

    Here is some reading.


    and to show its all in how you write your story


    I draw your attention in particular to the NYT 3rd and next to last and last para’s.
    Toyota themselves came down on the side of the EPA… You know, the guys who make Prius.

    Scott you still dont understand I think, but you prove my point. Who is going to make the other guys follow US protocols? Certainly not the UN, or anyone in Montreal or Kyoto and certainly not us. Not in a global economy. You can mandate anything but to make it work, you have to have teeth. Once you answer question one, you might be able to answer question two. No, its not about toys its about taking the one remaining major industry in this country and with all due respect to both of you, that isnt going to happen this time around. Even the Dems are starting to feel the heat from their constituents about it.

    In addition Scott the CAA was and is a part of NEPA. The National Environmental Policy Act. Everything contained in CAA is included reference to this. The states know it and its a national rather than states act. They could always vote to rescind it but they signed on for it and they are screwed and they know it. Suing the federal government? This one the states are likely going to lose. That waiver is just that. The federal government giveth, the federal government can take away.

    Now granted the air in California sucks. “How can you breathe air that you cant see?” is what a friend of mine says. But air samplings in low, mid and high level soundings contain the crap coming in off the ocean and not so much from the people in California. It bounds up against those mountains, it doesnt move and it gets trapped. Oregon has a problem, as does Washington. But so does Vancouver BC. So instead of going after the guys in SE Asia as we should be, we start with something that will have zero effect on the pollution in the US and that is coming up with yet new, unattainable standards by mandating mileage and emissions. We’ve been upping those standards for as long as I can remember and I am older than the EPA…air quality continues to sink. Why?

  16. #16 pft
    May 21, 2008

    Overseas manufacturers do not design product to meet each states standards. They basically look to federal standards, and the standards of the larger states with the most stringent standards. Typically, California has been the state with the most stringent standards for many products, and since it is a large state, overseas manufacturers will oblige, and the entire country for the most part reaps the benefits, and the higher costs those benefits require. The exception is the manufacturer sells to a retailer who does not cover California, then the manufacturer of say furniture, will use the cheaper foam that meets the other states less stringent flammability standards.

    As we get more and more global, and the US becomes less of an important market, our ability to dictate becomes diminished. Today we are still important though.

    As for the California attempt to mandate mileage, I disagree with this. What they should do is impose a tax on automobiles that do not meet their guidelines. In other words, sell all the cars you want at 35 mpg. But any car that does not meet 44 mpg, gets subjected to a 10% state tax, and this money is used to reduce greenhouse emissions in other areas. This makes the consumer the decision maker, and still provides means to reduce emissions. Do they buy that big SUV and pay a 10% tax on the sale of the car and higher gas consumption, or do they save some money by buying the smaller car. This is a more practical approach.

    With the price of oil and gas now, I suspect automobile makers should be trying to even exceed this 44 mpg mileage target without any regulation. Someone paying 6000 dollars a year on gas today with a car getting 25 mpg, and the price of gas climbing, would surely be interested in saving some money on a more fuel efficient car, even if it is more expensive. A 44 mpg car could save them 2500 per year today, and who knows how much more tommorow. Thats how it works in competitive markets. Not sure we have that anymore, but in theory, a competitive market is one that needs less regulation.

    Unfortunately, most of our markets today are either monopolies or cartels, and are not competitive markets. Inadequate regulation and enforcement is a disaster with this type of market. Big Oil might not be too keen on cars that would reduce gasoline consumption by 50%. Might be a conspiracy theory here. Not sure. I will investigate. Stay tuned.

  17. #17 M. Randolph Kruger
    May 22, 2008

    The gas guzzler tax never worked, but it does make sense to come up with a federal standard that we all can live by (equal protection under the law). We are kind of between the rock and the hard one here. California if you want to talk to NASA will never, ever meet the imposed standards with this mileage/emissions standard. It just sounds good. MODIS was concieved under Reagan, started under Bush 1, prototyped by Clinton 1, into space for a year and the last year that Clinton could sign Kyoto.. Guess why he didnt sign it. Its because he saw the picture. Its not the developed countries that are polluting off the scale, its as I said SE Asia. So we cut what? We are about as low as we can realistically get so the gases were coming from somewhere. So he decided to think about it and gave it to Bush who said no way we are signing Kyoto.

    Emissions from SE Asia are overtaking everything the entire US produces in two years for some gases (foam like PFT said), plastic extrusions, smelters of all kinds and above all we have very little Carbon Monoxide that we produce, they are completely off the scale especially in the winter. It is considered to be the most dangerous gas out there.

    Now here is something for Tasha and Scott. I dont have any answers for it either that will realistically change things. And because of that, I wont though dog our economy down to satisfy some misguided but well intentioned state standards and people pushing it. Its to is not realistic, nor as I said do I have any answers unless we get everyone on this planet to comply right now at the same time. None of this 40 years crap. We keep pushing ourselves for this, and no one else but maybe parts of the EU do it. China doesnt, India doesnt, Thailand tries but doesnt, and the Russians dont. Kyoto is a joke and a bad one.

    I am not saying that we shouldnt. I am saying though that we should just haul up and wait on them to get the big picture. We can spend billions of dollars on technology that will drop emissions but it wont change a thing out there because of the ambient funk that travels on the winds from SE Asia and China and they are increasing each year. The UN? Please. This is the same group who commissioned a GW study group and they wouldnt even allow information about solar output into the report. Totally discounted it.

  18. #18 M. Randolph Kruger
    May 22, 2008

    Left wing TV station, reporting on a left wing story, about a left wing city. Now what do we do, tax your existence? It isnt going to change anything folks. In reality these businesses are going to pack up and leave. Its just another government creating a law making it illegal to live. Criminals by condition.

    Now they have a city carbon footprint tax and how they’ll monitor it I have no idea.

    They do go on to say at the bottom that the estimates related to China were skewed (big surprise) and they are now the worlds largest polluter and most polluted country.


    I’m done with this one…

  19. #19 patm
    May 22, 2008

    Mr. Kruger,

    From the NY Times article that you linked to:

    “Twelve states � Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington � have adopted the California emissions standards, and the governors of Arizona, Colorado, Florida and Utah have said they planned to do so.”

    From the LA Times that you linked to:

    “The federal Clean Air Act allows California to set anti-pollution standards stricter than those of the federal government, subject to EPA permission. California had been waiting for the EPA to act since the state petitioned the agency in 2005, and at least 16 other states had been hoping to follow California’s lead.”

    So, all 16 of those states follow or plan to follow California’s regulations.

    Odd that you claim to be a “GM, Ford, Toyota, Mazda, Chrysler and Honda vendor” and are so ignorant of what has been so very well publicized. Odder still that you could read these articles and miss what is so clearly stated.

  20. #20 gilmore
    May 22, 2008

    Hey Randy,

    You can blame the UAW worker if you choose (and state regulations), but I’m pointing the finger at the executives who are draining the company of millions of dollars. Both by excessive pay and by their stupidity for NOT suppling high MPG cars.


  21. #21 albatross
    May 22, 2008

    I think revere’s comment up top is the critical one. IMO, mandating mileage requirements (instead of raising gas taxes) is bad policy, but the question asked of the EPA was not “is this a good policy,” but “what does the law say, here?”

    Indeed, much of the Conservative critique of judicial activism makes this point over and over again–when you are an official being asked a question of law, the question you should answer is “what does the law say?” not “what’s the best policy?”

  22. #22 M. Randolph Kruger
    May 22, 2008

    PatM-No, its not a misinterpretation. They can adopt a California standard if they want or some lesser or stronger measure and trust me, you will have 16 different standards as local politics weighs in. Thats the difference between what you are perceiving on this and how the law is actually written. Thats the problem, 16 states with possibly 16 different standards. They also have to apply for the waiver and that could take years. BTW I cant find where these guys have even petitioned the EPA for waivers, but they might have. Instead its looking like those heavily Democrat states are just jumping onto a noise wagon. Anyone who has a link that they actually did it, please advise. All I can see is that they want to, or so they say.

    Gilmore-Its not just the UAW, its the manufacturers as you say. In the 70’s they were being subsidized by the government to come up with higher mileage/lower polluting cars. What we got were cars that you basically had to come out and shoot the next morning from run on dieseling. There is just so much oomp for a gallon of gas that can be metered, and depending on how much oxygen how much pollution it would make. Complete combustion, no emissions. Now we get a mileage mandate and in Calfornia thats like screwing for chastity. You dont get any mileage out there. You are idling in traffic and bumper to bumper at that. You are stuck in traffic most of the time. So I guess we ought to have a idle cut out that pulls 3 out of 6 cylinders while you are sitting in traffic. Now THAT would cut the emissions and increase the gas mileage by a good pop.

    BTW Gil, since when is it a crime to make money in the US? Thats the board of directors decision who have to answer to stockholders for the pay of executives. The old class warfare thing comes to bear.Someone is always going to get rich at the expense of others. Is it different where you are?

    Albatross is right….. It is about what does the law say? 16 states is a lot of pull in this country but it is not a mandate to try to violate the law. But my big point is that they could have a car that makes zero and 100 miles a gallon and it wont change the air quality but minimally in the critical gas emissions that are in these places such as California. It is incredible what SE Asia is producing. Its clear that the populaton is fairly stable in the US, but if we keep cutting and mandating, so again where are all of the GHG’s coming from? Cars are cleaner than ever and emissions continue to be detected way beyond what can be generated by Calfornians.

    So how this all plays out is going to be into the Supreme Court IMO. California and the others may be able to get waivers, but if they do look out because the jobs will leave for less greener pastures. Those pastures may be in others states…or other countries entirely.

  23. #23 Gindy
    May 22, 2008

    Detroit had its collective chance to be ahead on this issue ages ago and chose NOT to. I remember reading the president of Dodge say they were not going to bother with more fuel efficient cars since they were selling enough of the bigger ones.
    Now they are going to pay for in in a big way.
    “In a statement, Ford said rising prices for commodities, particularly steel, and an accelerating consumer shift from larger trucks and sport utility vehicles would make it impossible to meet a key milestone in its efforts to turn around its money-losing North American operations.”
    As for idling in traffic, my neighbor’s car shuts off when she sits at a light and turns back on when she presses the “gas” pedal. Seems if Toyota can do that, why can’t any of the big US auto makers? Or does that not burn enough gas for their cronies and pals in the oil companies?

  24. #24 Scott
    May 22, 2008

    Did you actually read the articles you sent, or did you stop reading at the word “patchwork”? The articles you reference actually prove my point (and Tash’s), not yours.

    From the NYT article:

    Twelve states – Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington – have adopted the California emissions standards, and the governors of Arizona, Colorado, Florida and Utah have said they planned to do so. [emphasis mine]

    From that LAT article:

    At least 16 other states, with nearly half the nation’s population, have adopted or are considering California’s emission limits and could join in challenges to Wednesday’s decision.

    California Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols, whose agency requested the waiver two years ago, said there was no “patchwork” of standards. “There is a California greenhouse gas standard . . . which 16 other states would adopt, whereas there is no federal greenhouse gas standard,” she said. [emphasis mine]

    It only looks like a “patchwork” if you look at it on a map. There are only two sets of rules: Federal and California.

    Please quote anything in the articles you referenced that contradicts that statement. Please quote anything in the articles you referenced that actually supports your position that there will be 16 *different* sets of regulations.

    Again, until you can get your easily verifyable facts straight, how can you expect anyone to take you seriously on matters of opinion? If you start with false facts, no conclusions you reach can be rationally supported.

  25. #25 M. Randolph Kruger
    May 22, 2008

    Jesus Scott, Those states dont have car standards that are in law.


    They are suing to get the right to impose their own standards. Read my lips. They dont have the right under Federal law to impose ANY standard other than Federal right now in those other states. To change from Federal they have to get a waiver. Thats what the suit is all about. California is suing to get their waiver application moved as its obviously being sat upon. Now understand you are partially right but not about the law end of it. NEPA requires that a waiver request be made, but EPA doesnt have a time line to act upon it. I think this is electioneering, valid problem, two sides of an argument all rolled into one. Sounds good in the papers… but would it be happening if there werent other problems in CA? Like the budget?

    They have no standard in any of those aforementioned states other than Federal law. They are also forbidden to implement those standards without a waiver and neither is California. Anything CA wants to do HAS to be approved by the EPA and it would appear that its not going to happen. They are standing on very shaky ground with this one in CA. The EPA can deny any waiver they want. CA has the right to sue, or secede.

    Arnie is running for re-election and this sounds good but its going to take at least two more years before it reaches the Supremes.

    Dont make statements that you interpret Scott as fact. Those are news stories and not the law. This whole thing is up for interpretation in the papers only, but not in the law. IMO I think that California will not get their waiver for new tougher standards and its not what Gindy asserts either. Its about a national standard that everyone should follow and not the constantly raising bar that will one day ensure you wont be able to afford a car, or have a job in all likelyhood. We keep doing things that might sound good initially but end up on the trash heap. We saw some 30,000 regulations come into being under Carter which shut the economy down. We also saw a tax that was huge come into being on fuel to drive down demand. Well that equated to jobs lost, and then it was a domino effect. Put that thermostat at 68? Remember?

    I emailed a very nice picture to the S. Coast Air Quality people two years ago. It showed them the also very nice NASA TERRA/MODIS satellite depiction of the most dangerous GHG’s mentioned above. They had never seen it before and they were in air quality management. Hmmm? I gave them the project managers name and email at NASA. Two months passed and then I got an email first thanking me. Second it said that if what they saw was correct then they could literally turn off just about everything from San Francisco to Tijuana for three days out of the week and it wouldnt mathematically change the air quality at all. They cited drift up (I have an idea what that means), dissipation factors, humidity and ambient temperatures. Basically they had run a model or two and it didnt change anything in the air quality. Some guy at UCal had to go and get a clearance just to download data from the thing raw so it would feed to his computers. But the end result was a net nothing. The air in CA and other West Coast states will continue to drop. Now why in Hell dont we do something about the Chinese. 25% carbon import tarrif on goods made there? Puts our jobs back here. But oh wait, we cant build a new factory or pollute anywhere any longer. So the trade off begins. All of these states know this because Sen. Frists people were the ones that forwarded it to them! This isnt happening in a vacuum Scott. Its contrived on both sides.

    This might be the reason for the sudden push? I dont know but I do know that instead of suing the federal government which is stupid because the waivers are granted by EPA and not the courts, they should try to change the laws instead. Sure they’ll sue, it will go to the left wing 9th that ought to be part of the legislature and then to the Supremes. There it will be handed back to them because it is a national standard that gives them a right to a waiver application. They will likely interpret the law strictly on this and put it back into the hands of Congress who may or may not include California’s wishes in a new law. Lawsuit? Posh… smoke and mirrors.

    Scott, they (the 16 states) cant adopt the California standards without a waiver of their own. They have to make an application. Instead the idiots are suing instead. They want the right to go cheap which is to join in on the CA suit. If you like I’ll go and take the chapter and verse from the EPA regulations which are codified under the Code of Federal Regulations and post them. Thats the support here for my position and that of the government. Its typical though of the lefties. They dont like a law, they bend or break it because they think it doesnt apply to them. Then when they get pulled up short on it they say that its government activism against their positions. More class warfare.

    Hers is something that is important though and I am sure its worse now. If you live in California, Washington or Oregon, you are breathing about three times as much Carbon Monoxide as the rest of the states except for New York in the winter time. Why? Because its a present from the Manchurian Candidate-Al Gore and his friends in China. The only people that will benefit from higher standards will be the Chinese and people in SE Asia because California’s economy will have to adapt, it will cost you more and more to live there and then they’ll say WE have to come up with some sort of carbon tax. Its nothing more than a tax on living there and maybe nationwide. Do you think for one minute that any of the Chinese will be paying a carbon tax? Anything they can do to raise our global costs to produce and manufacture falls back into their hands by default. The already run a third of the shipping worldwide so they can subsidize our jobs loss via our own stupidity. But then there is that GHG thing? Dead customers write no checks.

    Vote for Obama and watch what happens immediately after. Hillary is less of a danger than he is.

    Let me know on that US Code thing. I dont mind. It might take a day or two to find it.

  26. #26 M. Randolph Kruger
    May 22, 2008


    Re: The batteries…. they are classified as I understand it after they are turned in as NiMH with a small part of cadmium added. You are right though about it not being full NiCad. They are also switching from NiMH to Lithium Ion types because well, nickel is becoming scarce. As is copper.

  27. #27 patm
    May 23, 2008

    Sorry Mr. Kruger, but you are mistaken.

    Because California had standards that predate the federal standards, California’s right to develop it’s own standards was written into the Clean Air Act.

    It is important that you understand that the EPA has no authority to grant waivers to any state other than California. To do so would require congress to revise the Clean Air Act itself.

    The states that are backing California’s request to the EPA on this issue are doing so because they want to adopt the proposed standard, but cannot do so unless and until California gets a waiver.

    Per edmunds.com, the auto experts:


    “As the acting federal authority, the EPA lays down the law, literally, on any type of emissions standards in the U.S. The Clean Air Act has provisions that allow California to implement its own automotive emissions standards and other states to adopt California’s standards at their own discretion.”

    the text of the Clean Air Act: http://www.epa.gov/air/caa/

  28. #28 M. Randolph Kruger
    May 23, 2008

    Sorry pat but you got this one one completely wrong. The EPA is the final authority for all matters affecting air quality in the US. The waivers are approved by them and thats what the rub is here. Do read the hearing info, it sheds some light on the reasons for the “patchwork.” It creates a right that doesnt exist for the other states to join in. The states simply can only get the law changed. 16 states in the Senate is a powerful body.

    There is a promulgation of the events as they unfolded on the first link.



  29. #29 K
    May 23, 2008

    Whatever happened to Jesus’ admonition to pray in a closet. The reason was to avoid using a prayerful mein or public words as just a way to brag about one’s holiness. IMO all public prayer is a for impressing other humans. Since there is no God what more could it be, but even for believers the public prayer is not about communicating with God but about communicating with other humans and for many it is just plain showing off.

  30. #30 revere
    May 23, 2008

    Randy: You are just wrong on this. The CAA tells EPA the conditions for waivers. California qualified. EPA didn’t grant it. That’s not the end of the story, as you imply. If California believes EPA has violated the law, it can take the agency to court. That is what is happening. So the story isn’t over until the court decides if EPA violated the law. If it did, it must grant the waiver. If not, then its decision stands (until the next administration reconsiders or not). That is what is at issue. As it now stands, China has better fuel economy standards than the US (as does Europe). Pathetic.

  31. #31 M. Randolph Kruger
    May 23, 2008

    Revere-The EPA is the final authority unless they do go to court.

    SUMMARY: Under section 209(b) of the Clean Air Act, as amended, 42
    U.S.C. 7543(b), the Environmental Protection Agency denies the
    California Air Resources Board’s request for a waiver of the Clean Air
    Act’s prohibition on adopting and enforcing its greenhouse gas emission
    standards as they affect 2009 and later model year new motor vehicles.
    This decision is based on the Administrator’s finding that California
    does not need its greenhouse gas standards for new motor vehicles to
    meet compelling and extraordinary conditions.

    ABAnet and this is for all and patm…. Any state can apply for a waiver.

    Under the federal Clean Air Act, generally states may not enforce their own standards relating to the control of emissions from new motor vehicles. 42 U.S.C. Section 7543(a). The federal government may waive federal preemption, however, for California if California adopts standards that are “at least as protective of public health and welfare as applicable Federal standards.” 42 U.S.C. Section 7543(b). Other states may then adopt the California standards for which a waiver has been granted. 42 U.S.C. Section 7507. The complete text of AB 1493 is available on the California Air Resources Board’s website at ww.arb.ca.gov/gcc/gcc.htm..

    Notice the word “not” because its a federal standard rather than a states. The law was passed in 1970 and the emissions have just kept on rising. The other states can then adopt is a key provision, its not just California though that can apply for the waiver.

    The waiver was denied so therefore the law is being complied with. The EPA though is going to have to stand on the law here. It cannot be capriciously denied, but in lieu of a federal standard which is contained already in the CAA and NEPA statutes, they are in full compliance. California is going to have to “come clean” in court about their true pollution problems to do this and this could be a two edged sword. They might get the waiver granted via the courts but then they’ll get hammered by EPA if its higher than what they have posted up.

    Even Arnie acknowledges they may have to sue and sue and sue. The other states still cannot piggy back onto the California standards and they can adopt them via the waiver, but they still have to apply to use that waiver if its later granted. The waiver could be extended, but none of these states so far as I have seen have even applied for a waiver. They are trying to get it for cheap I think.

    Re: the fuel economy… I am all for it but the problem remains. What they propose is based upon a car running down the highway, not sitting in a gridlock that happens every day in LA, Chicago, Philadelphia, Florida. Perhaps an idling standard too because this is where the emissions really come from our vehicles?.

    Colorado AG opinion of adoption… goes both ways but again they may adopt it via a state law, but with a two year prior to commencement time frame and they still have to have the approval of the EPA to do it.


    So the patchwork is right there. They only want to adopt the diesel standards. In the AG’s opinion they can, in EPA’s opinion likely no. Since there are sixteen states and I am not going to go pull them all, there are likely 16 different opinions and that of the federal government. There are still 34 other states who havent ponied up their request to join.

    How long before it hits the Supremes? A year, maybe two and they could hold it for another year, or find for the plaintiffs or let the EPA ruling stand. Estimated cost to push it thru for just CA? Two million dollars. Will it change the air pollution out there? Questionable to not at all.

  32. #32 M. Randolph Kruger
    May 23, 2008

    To clarify something above, the waivers are based upon adoption of California’s single 1966 standards that was put in during the 1970’s. Even if its adopted, the waiver/standards have to be approved by the EPA. This just clears this up and if you want to read the whole process you can hit this 42 U.S.C. Section 7543(a) in a search. The process HAS to be approved, and if California wants to mandate something later they have to have that approved again and again and again.

    PatM is under the impression that only CA would get the waiver and then everyone adopts. Thats minimus to the process. Even their own state legislatures would have to codify the standards rather than just “doing it” kind of thing. The final standards that are to be put onto the books are approved by the EPA. The legislatures cant just whip something up as they did in CA and it would appear that under Gray Davis they had already started pushing for this. CA was ready to start enforcing their standards and even the correspondence was legally terse between them and the EPA. It is an administrative branch thing and Revere as usual we agree about a few things. This crap about “executive privilege” could be considered to be obstruction if they try to withold it in the proceedings of appeal. Generally though, that has held. That alone could go for years into the future to get those documents…. You have to know the car companies and the oil companies made their interests known.

    China also has shutdown days call Clear Sky Days where industries are not allowed to operate. So I would also agree that they understand they have a problem. Hence higher standards, but no change because of gridlock?

  33. #33 Phila
    May 23, 2008

    Did you actually read the articles you sent, or did you stop reading at the word “patchwork”? The articles you reference actually prove my point (and Tash’s), not yours.

    This is SOP for MRK, unfortunately…I’ve had exactly the same experience with his “proof.”

    It’s really a shame the way every goddamn thread has become his personal playpen. They’re becoming almost unreadable at this point.

    But so be it. I’ve said this before, and now I’ll drop it for good, lest I become yet another obsessive bore.

  34. #34 M. Randolph Kruger
    May 23, 2008

    Obviously Phila you didnt even bother to read the testimony, the law, or the process involved. Whats really a shame is that the left wing blog is invaded by a right winger like me. Cant balance it off when you are out numbered 50 to 1. By the way, its okay to disagree but you are a very presumptious person. I post my full name and email here all the time. Go ahead and out yourself so we can really know about you and your blog.

    What is SOP is that you automatically disagree with anything that I put up and you deliberately try to bait people. Why is that? You dont get the statement that even though there might be an adoption of the California standards that if they were approved by the EPA, the other states would still have to apply to adopt them. Its not something that just happens. Now what part of that do you not understand? No one has a waiver so no one is adopting anything. Nothing to adopt unless California wins their suit. See you in a year or two on that.

    I also object to the off hand remark about being an obsessive bore. I have plenty to do and that includes making time to set the record straight. You make many assumptions and the are very disrespectful of anyone who counters your argument to the negative.

    Even Revere is wrong. Its based on the assumption that the EPA erred. So far and unless there is a court battle to determine the right or wrong, the EPA’s regulations stand. The leftist 9th will pass it on to the Supremes and they have about two years to review it and let it stand or strike it. Want to bet how it goes?

  35. #35 revere
    May 23, 2008

    There is a court battle.

  36. #36 Scott
    May 25, 2008

    Okay, let’s take this one little baby step at a time. You cited the LA Times article and the NY Times article. Why? Why did you want me to read those articles?

  37. #37 M. Randolph Kruger
    May 26, 2008

    Scott, the articles were left wing media for starts and I did put “their” position out there for a reason. I didnt want to put any words in any lefties mouth. The proof is in the pudding and that is the testimony before Congress as noted above. The law is very simple. There is only one law and not a mishmash of California for everyone. You saw the post with the opinion of the AG of Colorado… he said that they could adopt the standards for diesel buggies only. Saying again, diesel. Pennsylvania wants local jurisdictions to be able to approve it or deny it. Therein lies the patchwork. There are others such as New York. I havent figured out what in particular they want out of this.

    Understand that I fully understand your position. Its just not founded in the law and the application for the waiver. You cant just sit back and say that they have a case other than California. The govt of California has decided to exercise their rights under the law. They made an application and it was denied. They now feel that it was not in their best interests. The other polluted states in addition to this are joining the lawsuit. IMO and others this is likely going to queer their application and suit. They will submit AG’s opinions, and legal opinions and this and that as backup, but the question will be….Did they follow the law?


    They can of course join it if they wish but if they were smart they would sit back and let the wheels of justice grind. They can adopt them if they are parties to the suit, but only again after a waiver application. The “patchwork” isnt going to be tolerated by the federal government in my opinion. If it hits the Supremes it is going to be just like the Florida election recounts. Its going to go back to the first case of screwing up and in this case….Did California follow the law? I think they did but DID and DO they meet the criteria is going to be the question. If they do, and post of the resolution the other states will be able to come up with their own standards but they will still have to apply for the waivers. Its an administrative process. Armed with the ruling they will have their applications processed likely nearly immediately as the US government will have the threat of another defeat if they go for a contempt order.

    But for the ruling the courts will decide that and the 9th will almost certainly forward it on after the appeal. The car companies including Toyota will be on the side of the government because of the sizeable investment they have in SUV’s and older technology.

    Mandating higher standards is a two year process for starts. This is where CA fails IMO, the Supremes might have a different opinion or not. The federal government pre-empted this process two years? ago when they came up with the new suggested standards and Congress bought into it. I am not exactly sure about when it goes into effect, but they will get better mileage and better emissions but again it means nothing if cars are not moving and sitting around idling in traffic.

    There are no baby steps here Scott, there are processes that MUST be followed. I would indeed like to see higher standards but not at the cost to our economy in lieu of others. Thats not a process, thats a fact. We are now falling backwards in our own regulatory bullshit and getting pummeled by the Chinese. Revere is right. They have higher standards than we do. But look at the air quality in China so does anyone there give a big rats ass about pollution. They dont play by the rules, we try at least and in some cases do. But remember, to pull all the gas burners off the road and replace them with battery technology would create more problems than you could count. We could start with the power grid… it would collapse from the load. But thats a different day…..


  38. #38 M. Randolph Kruger
    May 26, 2008

    One other thing… The law was written many years ago and it desperately needs revisiting for both NEPA and CAA. It hasnt kept up with the times and the air is shitty in California. But as I said there isnt much they can do about it. I would have thought it would have been met with open arms the higher standards and emissions from the EPA… Well thats one that I got wrong. I will say though that each time we create a new cost basis in this country, another industry moves out….. GM is currently building a huge plant in China to make…. you guessed it… SUV’s for use in SE Asia and to be imported back into the US. So if the GHG drift into CA is correct, they’ll have to get ready for more of the same and then MORE of the same.

    But to all, I havent got any answers for you on how to solve it. The assertion is that we can…. I personally doubt it because of world population growth.

  39. #39 Scott
    May 26, 2008

    Okay, so you cited the NYT and LAT articles not to support your own position, but as “lefty” articles with which you disagree? Do I have that right? If so, I agree. The articles do not support your position.

    Your next article brings up two points. First, passing laws, and second, piecemeal standards.

    First, if you look closely, the AG is not talking about making new laws. He’s talking about making regulations. According to the law, EPA (or California) sets the standards (ie the “law”). It is up to the individual States to enact “regulations” to enforce that “law”. That’s written into the Clean Air Act. Even if California were out of the picture, the CAA says the Federal EPA sets the standards, but it is up to the States individually to enforce them. That happens with lots of laws. Congress sets out some rules, and then requires the States to write the regulations to enforce those rules. It’s called “passing the buck”. It gets the Federal government off the hook for having to pay to enforce the laws that they pass. It’s called “unfunded mandates”. I can’t say I agree with it, but that’s how they do things.

    So, the Colorado AG isn’t talking about new laws that are unique to Colorado. He is saying that the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission has the “authority under federal statutes” to adopt regulations to enforce air quality standards. Why? Because this is the Commission that the Colorado legislature set up in order to implement the Federal laws, as required by the CAA. Can the Colorado Commission make up its own standards? No. It must create regulations that enforce the existing standards.

    Now we come to the second part, the piecemeal implementation. On this I haven’t read the law. Can Colorado pick and choose, taking some of the Federal standards and some of the California standards? I don’t know enough to agree with the Colorado AG or not on whether Colorado can pick and choose or not.

    Whether he is right or not about being able to pick and choose, please note what he is saying. For diesel cars he wants to choose one set of standards. For other cars, he wants to choose another set of standards. Does this result in a “patch work” of standards? For diesel cars there are still only two possible standards: the Federal standards, or the California standards. For gasoline powered cars there are still only two possible standards: the Federal standards or the California standards.

    So, even if the Colorado AG is right and States can pick and choose, they can only pick and choose from two sets of standards. Manufactures will only have to build at most two different vehicles for each kind of vehicle they produce. Not 16, not 50, but 2. T-W-O.

    But if history is any guide, they won’t build even two kinds. They will build one kind, the kind that meets the tougher standards. Then, if history is any guide, they will market their new products like crazy, showing what good companies they are, exceeding the Federal standards. They will take regulations they fought hard against, and turn compliance into a marketing advantage.

    As to your second to last point… Can we solve the problem? Sure we can. It’s not a matter of some undiscovered fundamental technology like learning how to fly. There are already many possible technical solutions available. Is any one of them the perfect answer? No, probably not. But at this point it is simply a matter of engineering. The problem is a financial and political problem, not a technical problem.

    As to your final point, sure world population growth could swamp anything we try to do. But we have to try. If we start by saying we can’t do it, then we have already defeated ourselves. If we start by saying we can’t do it, then someone else will try first. And they might succeed. I’d rather that “someone” be us.

  40. #40 FO
    May 26, 2008

    Hey MRK, instead of flooding each thread connected to the Bush administration with the same tired bullshit, why not make your own blog? You can puke shit all you want there, and nobody would complain. You wouldn’t even have to bother with people with brains, like us! Imagine, you could have a pretty la-la-land filled with butterflies, daisies, and McCain! Lots of Bushes too.

  41. #41 Lea
    May 26, 2008

    Your comments are uncalled for FO.
    Apparently you abandoned your brain today and left it outside on the street before you posted your comment.
    Grow up.

  42. #42 M. Randolph Kruger
    May 27, 2008

    Scott-The CAA and NEPA statues are codified rather than operating as regulations only. USC means US code and that is law rather than regulations. You can get fined for violating a regulation, you can go to jail if you violate a law.

    The reference to the patchwork is incorrect. You have to understand that the standards that are promulgated by California (or that they want to) will have to made part of each states laws and in addition submitted for approval. Its not just adoption. Thats a term and its incorrect. There will at the least be wording changes, there will be at the most standards that pick and choose and thats where the patchwork will be created. It will also by implication give those various states the right to raise the standards if they want. You might disagree but that is the nuts and bolts of it. Air quality gets bad? Just raise the standards..its not going change anything but it sounds good at election time. Arnie should just run as a Democrat IMO because he is so far left of center its almost pandering.

    Here is the way I see it. They get the right to create their own standards. The population continues to rise and the total number of vehicles does too. The SE Asians keep on sending crap over the Pacific and the air continues to get worse. Sooner or later they change from gas to electric and then they have to build more coal fired plants to power those Prius type buggies or all electric. Then you have the one source of transportation. But if as things develop the total number of hybrids increase with the higher standards and the air doesnt get better, then what?

    Lets agree to disagree and move on Scott. The natives are restless again. I enjoy pissing lefties off because they get into their round robin masturbation sessions. They simply will not acknowledge that they could be totally wrong about air pollution and GW.

    You wont accept my position and how the law will be interpreted. Also, be aware that the B. Administration issued up their new standards in anticipation of the California lawsuit. That didnt escape me at all. I was reading the WSJ this morning about how we would have to cut our emissions under the newly developed standards to about the 1970’s levels. It went on to say specifically that we by 2050 might have a population of 400 million in the US either legally or illegally. BUT, by adopting the standards that the environmentalists want us to, we would be back at the levels at the turn to the 1900’s. So how to run an economy with high taxes, new cost basis, and w/wo a patchwork is going to be fraught with expense for Americans. If Obama or Hillary get in there then they will act on behalf of everyone other than Americans and tax gas, then raise personal taxes and capitals gains and loads of people will be out of work.

    This will last only one Administration and it will be swept away as the pendulum swings.

  43. #43 FO
    May 29, 2008

    Your comments are uncalled for FO.

    Neither are yours, retard.

    Wasn’t this supposed to be a comment section? MRK’s turning it into a damned collection of short essays. There are better places to engage in lengthy conversations. If you didn’t know this, then maybe you’re the one who needs to grow up, Lea.

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