Environmental Group Wants to
Turn Over Control
of Colorado Emissions to a California Boars
By Tim Jackson, CADA president
Environment Colorado, an extreme-left enviro-group, plans to announce a radical proposal that would cede control over emissions requirements on vehicles sold in Colorado to whatever limits are defined by a regulatory board based in Sacramento: the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Never before have legislators in the state of Colorado abdicated their leadership role and turned over the responsibility entrusted to them to a regulatory board of another state--especially California.
The CARB has no ties to Colorado and has little direct accountability to the citizens of California, let alone to the citizens of Colorado. Yet, if our elected state legislators follow the wishes of Environment Colorado to enact legislation linking Colorado standards to those in California, CARB will be the entity in charge of setting emissions standards in Colorado. Our elected leaders would no longer be setting policy on these important issues and could shirk responsibility on crucial decisions that can directly affect consumers and voters in Colorado. Environment Colorado would rather have governance of vehicle emissions ceded to an out-of-state regulatory board with no responsibility or accountability here. It can also be presumed that standards set by the CARB board will be based on what is best suited to California’s climate and conditions (think of the smog-filled reputation of one extremely large city in the southern part of that state), rather than that of Colorado.
Top 10 (plus one extra) reasons that Environment Colorado’s package should be sent packing….to California!
Transportation is only a small part of the global warming, climate change issue. Passenger cars and light trucks are only a part of the transportation sector. Environment Colorado’s proposal doesn’t deal with the entire transportation segment (planes, trains, heavy trucks, farm equipment, lawn equipment and off-road vehicles), let alone residential and commercial buildings or power plants.
New cars today are significantly cleaner today than 20, 10 or even 5 years ago. Environment Colorado doesn’t promote any programs to help remove older, more heavily polluting cars from the roads. Instead, it discourages new cleaner cars from being sold.
Never before has Colorado ceded authority to a regulatory board governed by another state; nor should it in this case as well.
Even with record-high gasoline prices, during the first six months of this year, Coloradans rejected the most fuel efficient cars. The sub-compact car segment showed the largest decline in registrations among all vehicle category segments.
Recognizing the unique nature of our Colorado terrain (highest average elevation and most peaks over 14,000 feet), the US Congress wrote a high altitude exemption into the current Clean Air Act.
Colorado citizens should be able to decide what they want and need to drive, not an unaccountable regulatory board based in…California!
If Colorado citizens cannot buy the new car that they want or need, they will keep their older, higher pollution-emitting car. The Environment Colorado proposal would indirectly discourage the move to cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicle models. That is a costly, but real, unintended consequence of the EC proposal.
Instead of encouraging the public to keep older higher polluting cars, Environment Colorado should propose incentives that move the public to cleaner, more efficient vehicles.
To the extent global warming and climate change exist, they are global problems, not ones that can be addressed effectively at the local, county or state levels. It is difficult to have a meaningful impact even at a national level, but that is certainly a more logical and effective platform through which to address these issues than state-by-state, county-by-county or city-by-city.
Congress is currently debating increased fuel economy standards as a part of three separate measures that would increase Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE). The industry supports a significantly stronger standard contained in the US House proposal called the Hill-Terry bill. Hill-Terry would provide a responsible and achievable increase of 40 percent in CAFE standards.
There is no evidence that anything in California’s limits would have any measurable impact towards the stated goal of reducing greenhouse gases.