Saturday, November 26, 2005

Good Sense in New York

New York's State Environmental Board unanimously agreed earlier this month to adopt California's strict auto emissions standards, the New York Times reports today. Of course, the auto industry has already filed suit against the state for doing so. The standards, which will be phased in beginning in model year 2009, "require a roughly 30 percent reduction in automotive emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by the 2016 models," and "an [effective] improvement in fuel economy on the order of 40 percent for vehicles sold in the state."

Ten states plus California either currently follow or plan to follow these guidelines - as the Times piece notes, "If all 10 states and California succeed in enacting the rules, they will form a powerful alternative regulatory bloc accounting for about a third of the nation's auto sales."

This is good news. If the federal government continues to sit on its hands and refuse to implement fuel efficiency standards, then states should be free to enact their own. This case will be done to death in the courts for probably years, but hopefully the rules will be able to go into effect as scheduled.


At 8:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is good news? I guess it might be if you are foolish to believe that Federal CAFE standards have ever saved a single gallon of oil. I would classify it a ''feel-good news'' for those who think that good intentions are what counts. Real world data shows that annual miles driven and fuel consumption per 100 vehicles have continued to increase despite the ever-increasing avg. fuel economy of the national passenger car and light truck fleet. Consumers replace their prior vehicle with a newer and less thirsty vehicle and they naturally drive more miles using their same weekly fuel budget allowance. Consumer driving behavior is affected by fuel price, not fuel economy. Consumer vehicle purchase decisions are also greatly affected by vehicle size, perceived utility and crashworthiness. NY state emissions and fuel economy standards will only result in less choice for vehicle purchasers.

At 5:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No no no. These regs have nothing to do with mpg (which is a federally preempted issue), but instead with pollutants released. And CA, NY, Mass, and the others who are taking this path, are driving innovation (pardon the pun)by requiring better technology.

And why the choice mantra? Is it right to allow folks the choice to increase their pollution?

Until and unless you completely internalize all the externalities (chevy drivers pay more per gallon than their ZEV Civic-driving counterparts - and I get that MPG differences do that to a certain extent, but not entirely) then this kind of regulation is necessary because the market is not fully rational.


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