Last Friday, I had talked about the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and their new ruling on March 27, 2008 to cut the number of zero emissions vehicles required by the big six automakers. Today I want to talk about a little history and reaction to this flawed ruling.
On March 25, 2008, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) called upon CARB to require the automakers to build 379,000 zero emission vehicles (ZEV’s) by the year 2020. According to UCS, “A new UCS analysis concludes that California would need to have 379,000 ‘pure’ zero emission vehicles on the road in 12 years to be on a path to meet the state’s long-term global warming pollution reduction target.”
On March 27, 2008, CARB put its own misleading spin on the situation, which several media outlets have picked up on and perpetuated. According to the press release, “The Air Resources Board today voted to triple the amount of zero emissions vehicles that staff had proposed for automakers to produce from 2012 through 2014, while directing staff to look at overhauling the program to account for climate change benefits. Staff had proposed to require 2,500 pure zero emission vehicles, which the Board increased to 7,500.”
So, now several media outlets are leading with the story that CARB is tripling the number of required ZEV’s that staff proposed (meaning one person on the staff and not the others who proposed far more). This kind of spin has no place in a government entity in charge of protecting its citizens’ air quality.
Cleantech got is right about what this flawed proposal means as does the Press Democrat in an article they call Zero Policy. The San Jose Mercury News makes a good point saying, “Some environmentalists now suggest the state should pass rules forcing oil companies and utilities to build a certain number of hydrogen fueling stations – just as it has tried with varying success to force carmakers to build electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.”
Requiring the automakers to build a certain amount of hydrogen cars without requiring the building of an adequate amount of fueling stations to support those vehicles is sheer lunacy as it is a prescription for failure. The recent CARB ZEV cutback has been a significant setback for those who want to breathe freely in California. It’s sadly ironic that an “Air Resources Board” would vote in favor of more emissions over zero emissions and spin it as if they were doing the public a favor.