CARB Archives - Shopfloor

NAM Joins Litigation Against California Cap-and-Trade Revenues

By | General | No Comments

In November, the California Chamber of Commerce filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of the revenues generated by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for the state’s cap-and-trade greenhouse gas program. Today, we took action to join the suit. The NAM filed papers to intervene in the litigation, focusing not on the legality of the cap-and-trade program itself or the merits of climate change science, but on the extraordinary revenues generated by the auction and reserve sale provisions adopted by CARB.

The effectiveness of the cap-and-trade program comes from the state’s ability to ratchet down greenhouse gas emissions from year to year.  CARB may not go beyond this authority to generate a huge income stream for the state. The first quarterly auction of greenhouse gas allowances in November raised nearly $289 million for California, substantially more than the $62 million required to implement the law. Moreover, that revenue is projected to increase to as much as $3 billion this year and $70 billion over the life of the program.

That income goes far beyond simply paying for the costs of administering the program, and thus exceeds the legal authority of CARB. Alternatively, even if the fees are authorized, they constitute a massive new tax that must be approved (but were not) by a 2/3 majority of the California legislature under the state constitution.

CARB’s income scheme will significantly raise energy costs in the state and further harm its competitiveness, providing limited or no environmental benefit.

A hearing in Superior Court in Sacramento County is scheduled for May 31.

The California Manufacturers React (There’s Disappointment)

By | Economy, Regulations, Taxation | No Comments

From the California Manufacturers and Technology Association, “CA manufacturing gets a little help in state’s races and propositions:

Here’s the “GOOD” for manufacturing

  • Prop 26 passed and taxes can’t be passed as fees.
  • Prop 24 failed and a few of CA’s competitive tax policies remain.
  • Redistricting commission remains intact (Prop 20 passed and Prop 27 failed).
  • Steve Cooley still has a chance to be Attorney General (Cooley’s statement).
  • Pro-manufacturing candidates, Anthony Cannella and David Valadao, won competitive state legislative races.

Here’s the “REAL BAD”

  • Prop 23 failed, ensuring increased energy rates and other costs for all manufacturers.
  • The race for attorney general between Cooley and Kamela Harris, the San Francisco District Attorney, is headed for a full count and then a recount.

    CMTA drives home the message, one that California’s voters seem to be missing:

    With 12.4 % unemployed, more than a third of our manufacturing base gone, and the rest of the country opting to vote for private sector economic growth yesterday, California must find ways to be a competitive place to operate. For example, CA needs to join the rest of the country and exempt from sales tax the purchase of manufacturing equipment. CA also needs to reform its regulatory process by introducing independent economic analysis. Message to all manufacturers: We need your help to make our case in California in 2011!

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

    By | Briefly Legal, Communications, Energy, Global Warming | No Comments

    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?

    California Regulators, Cutting Off GPS to Spite Their Economy

    By | Communications, Energy, Global Warming, Regulations | No Comments

    The Washington Times today editorializes on the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) latest act of reality-ignoring arrogance, a proposal to mandate reflective window glazings on vehicles to keep the vehicle insides cool. Turns out the materials block GPS and wireless signals and would add about $250 to the cost of each car and light truck.

    From “Unhealthy CARB“:

    The problem is that the new windows would reflect radio waves, thus highly compromising the use of GPS units, garage-door openers, laptop computers, satellite radio systems, parolee ankle bracelets, wireless medical equipment and cell phones. CARB admits the mandate would interfere with radio signals but is poised to promulgate the new rule later this month anyway. A 15-day public comment period would follow, during which alert consumers could overwhelm the bureaucrats with objections. …

    The rule would be particularly infuriating because it’s unnecessary. Manufacturers have offered at least two other nonmetallic methods – using light-absorbing materials rather than reflecting materials – to reduce the warming effect of sunlight on cars. Those methods do not interfere with radio signals and are cheaper.

    The San Diego Union Tribune earlier weighed in on the regulation, calling the CARB’s actions both farcical and a travesty. In its editorial, “Common sense-less,” the paper quotes veteran auto-industry analyst Drew Winter:

    CARB regulators don’t know anything about the business of building and selling vehicles and only care about improving fuel economy. Unlike automotive engineers, they are not required to care about safety, durability, customer satisfaction or unintended consequences…

    CARB regulators have forced positive change in the auto industry with tough regulatory actions for the past 30 years, but this new strategy of telling auto engineers how to hit fuel-economy targets in addition to mandating them is bizarre and potentially dangerous. CARB needs to give up trying to design vehicles or be stopped before its arrogance and ignorance cause real harm.

    Of course. Everyone knows that designing cars is a job best left to Congress and the EPA.

    Well, You Shouldn’t Be Driving in the First Place

    By | Communications, Energy, Global Warming, Regulations | One Comment

    From George Ou at Digital Society, “California vehicle standard blocks cell, radio, and GPS“:

    The California Air Resources Board (CARB) just passed a new regulation that requires glazed glass in automobiles that is supposed to reduce the need to use air conditioning.  The catch is that the same properties that block electromagnetic sunlight radiation also blocks lower frequency electromagnetic radio waves.  That means radios, satellite radios, GPS, garage door openers, and cell phones will be severely degraded.  Even more surprising is that it requires this glass even for jeeps that have soft covers, plastic windows, and no air conditioning.  Furthermore, the rules are so stringent that they effectively make sunroofs black, even though many consumers use the covers.

    Here’s some background on CARB.  This is the same group of regulators who passed a controversial regulation that would require completely new diesel engines which will cause the state tremendous economic loss, and the same group who mandated the costly use of carcinogenic MTBE in California’s reformulated gasoline.

    Meanwhile, the California State Energy Commission is getting ready to ban larger flatscreen televisions because of their energy consumption. But there surely will be no unintended consequences from this latest regulatory fiat, right? Read More