In California, Dark-Colored Cars Still OK, But After That …

From Gino DiCaro at the California Manufacturers and Technology Association, the Mpowered Blog, “‘Cool Cars’ embodies Sacramento’s ‘bumbling, well-intentioned, paternalistic nonsense’,” the offense because the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) attempt to force through regulation more energy-efficient cars.The policy won’t work, imposes unnecessary additional costs, threatens public safety, and further damages California’s economy. Gino gives us the nickel tour:

CARB’s  “Cool Cars” policy was set up in 2009 as an AB 32 early action item to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions by reflecting heat away from cars, thereby requiring less air conditioning and less fuel.

CARB originally tried to ban dark colored vehicles.  That didn’t fly with the public, auto dealers, manufacturers and anyone else who breathes in California.  Whew.

CARB then focused on a policy that mandated a reflective layer in all car windshields by 2012 and all windows by 2016.  They did this before any analysis on economic or safety impacts and without regard for alternatives with similar emission reductions.

Policies like this require extensive research to ensure proper benefit with the least amount of economic burden.  Over the past few months important information and data on these two fronts has emerged from the Wireless Association and the Auto Alliance that prove that the proposed “Cool Cars” policy creates:

  • A substantial economic burden (costs 2 and a half times more than CARB reported)
  • A serious concern about public safety because of negative effects on GPS ankle mechanisms and less cell phone 911 call completion
  • Overall administrative nightmares for any system using toll road and bridge transponders

Even when presented with these problems and new information on better alternatives, CARB is still unwilling to budge and provide any flexibility or necessary changes in the regulation.

Well, at least the escaped felons speeding across the desert won’t be able to mock their victims with a cell phone call.

We’re always hearing that California is a pioneer, blazing the path for the rest of the country (as in auto emission controls). Pretty awful stuff. At what point do we drop the “well-intentioned” description?

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