Monday, October 27, 2008

Could this really occur? MN thinking of adopting CA air standards?

Ran into this post from Minnesota Majority concerning two local bills currently being considered there, HF863 and SF481. I simply could not believe it. After shaking my head and laughing mirthlessly for ten minutes decided to post on it a bit further.

Accordingly, in my view one of the silliest things Minnesotans could do would be to tie their own vehicle emissions standards to those of Californians. I AM a native Californian and since I'm older than dirt have some insight into the evolution of CA's standards.

They were implemented year ago solely to partially resolve an environmental crisis in the Los Angeles air basin. A crisis caused more by manufacturing and processing plants, than by autos, and a crisis that local government at-the-time would not deal with and fix. The remainder of the state, like Minnesota, did not actually need those restrictions, but politicians at the time looked at the overwhelmingly huge voter block in SoCal and as is their wont in a panic felt they "had to do something", so they did.

Years later the fed's standards "caught up" to CA's, but once started down this path the ARB could not let that minor trifle stand in the way so EVEN THOUGH THE PROBLEM WAS SOLVED emission standards in CA became even further constrained, until today they make no sense and cause Californians to pay 5 to 8% or more for extra transportation associated costs than do residents of other states.

If Minnesotans fall for this silly idea they will join CA in spending needless extra funds merely to go shopping or commute to work. That is their free choice to do, but where is the "common sense" most Minnesotans I've known display?

Unbelievable. Or it should be.

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