spacer search
Facilitating a local and worldwide synergy of suppliers, builders, architects, planners, educators, and visionaries committed to Creating a Sustainable Future for ourselves and generations to come
Main Menu
Contact Us
About Us
Home arrow Blog arrow 11/25/06 - Roadblock to cleaner cars

11/25/06 - Roadblock to cleaner cars PDF Print E-mail
Written by Fran Pavley, Jason Barbose   
Saturday, 25 November 2006
This year California made history by passing the Global Warming Solutions Act (AB32), the nation's first cap on global warming pollution.
Meanwhile, the summer's scorching heat wave drove global warming home for many Americans and melted the stubborn skepticism of others. Unfortunately, despite California's landmark action on global warming and heightened awareness nationwide, the Bush administration has continued to obstruct solutions to climate change.

In late September, the Bush administration announced its "strategic plan" to address global warming, which fails to require any reduction in global warming pollution, let alone the reduction necessary to avoid the worst impacts of global warming. Coincidentally, on the heels of this announcement, the journal Nature revealed that the administration blocked release of a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report suggesting that global warming is contributing to the increasing frequency and strength of hurricanes. More than just blocking reports, however, the Bush administration is putting up roadblocks for states like California that are trying to take action to cut global warming pollution from cars and light trucks.

The Clean Air Act allows California to choose between complying with federal vehicle-emission standards and adopting more protective standards. In late 2004, California adopted new standards requiring cars and light-duty trucks to limit emissions that contribute to global warming. Nine other states -- Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington -- have followed suit, and Pennsylvania moved one step closer to adopting its Clean Vehicles Program in mid-September. These state programs will have a measurable impact. According to calculations by Environment California, the 10 states that have adopted the Clean Cars Program will cut global warming pollution from cars, light trucks and SUVs by 64 million metric tons per year in 2020. Put another way, by 2020 the Clean Cars Program will eliminate as much carbon dioxide annually as is produced by 63 coal-fired power plants generating enough power for nearly a quarter of U.S. homes. So what's the problem?

The way the Clean Air Act is written, California must get a waiver if it wants to adopt stricter emissions standards than the federal government. Then, other states decide if they want to copy California or stick with the federal standards. The other states don't apply for their own waiver.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been sitting on California's application for a waiver to implement our global warming emissions standards for new vehicles. Without the Bush administration's stamp of approval, California -- and the nine other states that have adopted our Clean Cars Program -- will not be able to take this important step toward cutting global warming pollution from tailpipes.

The EPA has routinely granted California's waiver requests more than 40 times in the last three decades. Last week, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger spoke up, sending a letter to President Bush urging him to "take action on [California's] long-standing request for a waiver."

So why is the Bush administration dragging its feet? For the same reasons it announced a "strategic plan" to tackle global warming that doesn't really tackle it at all: the oil industry and big automakers.

Global warming will have profound impacts on California, including reduced snowpack, rising sea levels and increased air pollution. The Bush administration's failure to grant California's waiver is more than just a bureaucratic power play -- it marks a clear decision to cater to powerful special interests over the future of America's quality of life and public health.

Global warming demands immediate action. The Bush administration should grant California our waiver request and give states the power to cut global warming pollution from cars and light trucks.

Assembly member Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills (Los Angeles County), is the author of AB1493, which created California's greenhouse gas emissions standards for automobiles, and AB32, which created the nation's first cap on greenhouse gas emissions. Jason Barbose is the Global Warming Advocate with Environment California, a statewide nonpartisan, environmental advocacy organization.

Green Building Resources
Buildin Design & Construction
Common Sense Design, resource page
Environmental Building News
Frank Lloyd Wright
Get into Green, at the National Building Musem
Green Affordable Housing
Green Building Community.Com
Green Sage
International Initiative for sustainable built environment
LEED for Homes, energy certification from the USGBC
List of recycled building products from the Ca.Integratd waste management board
Marin County Green Building Program
Marin Max Reuse
National Renewable Energy Labratory Homepage
Oikos Green Building Source

(C) 2022
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU/GPL License.