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Will EPA Trump California's Clean Air Act Waiver?

The Trump Administration is seeking to roll back federal automotive fuel economy standards and prevent California from maintaining more stringent standards of its own.

Last week, the Department of Transportation and Environmental Protection Agency announced plans to roll back one of the Obama Administration's most significant climate change policies. Specifically, the Administration is proposing to freeze automotive fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission control requirements, setting aside Obama rules that would have imposed stringent requirements through 2025. At the same time, the administration is proposing to deny California's authority under the Clean Air Act to adopt its own more stringent requirements, refusing a waiver under the Clean Air Act and claiming preemption under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act. Under this proposal, not only would California be precluded from adopting more stringent greenhouse gas emission standards, it would be prohibited from maintaining its longstanding Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) requirements, even though these standards have been used to help the Golden State control address more traditional pollution concerns.

The Trump Administration proposal raises some interesting legal and policy issues. I have a summary and brief analysis over at NRO.

On the legal front, the Trump Adminsitration can make a reasonable case that California is not eligible for a Clean Air Act waiver for greenhouse gas emission controls. In short, this is because the relevant waiver criteria were crafted to enable California to address the state's longstanding and particularly severe urban air pollution problems. Greenhouse gas emissions, however, present different considerations because their effects are not localized in the same way. Thus it is not clear California can show that it needs such standards to control in-state air pollution, as the relevant CAA provisions require. For those interested, my article Hothouse Flowers: The Virtues and Vices of Climate Federalism goes into the legal and policy issues in greater depth.

The Trump Administration is on weaker ground insofar as it seeks to prevent California from requiring automakers to sell Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs, i.e. electric cars) in the state. While ZEVs reduce greenhouse gas emissions, they reduce emissions of traditional pollutants as well. Thus this requirement fits more comfortably into the relevant CAA criteria. For the same reasons, I think it is difficult to argue that the ZEV requirements are preempted under the EPCA as standards "related to" fuel economy too.

This Trump proposal also raises questionsa about the role of states in developing and implementing environmental policy. While the Trump Administration has proclaimed its support for "cooperative federalism," this proposed rule could significantly limit the ability of states to pursue their own environmental priorities, at least in the context of climate change.

From my NRO piece:

Allowing different jurisdictions to adopt different rules may well impose costs on nationwide firms, but that's a cost of doing business in a diverse compound public. The reality is that California has different environmental problems and different environmental preferences from other states. Just as California should not be able to impose its preferences on the rest of the nation, it should not be prevented from adopting the rules California voters are willing to accept — and if automakers were willing to let California consumers bear the costs of their state's own policies, that might temper their environmental appetites.

If there is a problem in federal environmental law, it is not that California is given too much autonomy to adopt its own environmental rules, but that other states are given too little. If anything, the CAA waiver provisions are too narrow, insofar as they apply only to one specific regulatory program within the broader federal regulatory monolith. A broader waiver provision that gave states more leeway to experiment with alternative approaches to environmental protection across the board would do more to encourage regulatory innovation and defuse political conflicts.

Alas, the Trump administration does not appear particularly interested in regulatory federalism when it comes to environmental protection. That is a missed opportunity. In its zeal to reduce regulatory burdens across the board, the Trump administration is inviting legal trouble and missing opportunities to make the case for broader reforms. California's waiver should not be the end of state-level environmental innovation. It should be the beginning.

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  • Scattergood||

    How does Wickard not apply:

    ' But even if appellee's activity be local and though it may not be regarded as commerce, it may still, whatever its nature, be reached by Congress if it exerts a substantial economic effect on interstate commerce and this irrespective of whether such effect is what might at some earlier time have been defined as "direct" or "indirect" '

    California's emission requirements may be local and may not be 'commerce' but it clearly 'exerts a substantial economic effect on interstate commerce'. Cars and car parts are produced in many different states and shipped across state lines. Having CA only requirements changes the productive ability and requirements of these inter-state actors affecting prices, labor costs, etc.

    If one guy can't make wheat to feed his own livestock because it might affect the price of wheat in the market as a whole, how can California make up their own rules that contradict federal regulations that clearly change to economics of the auto industry?

  • ThanksForTheFish||

    That's my thought. Either the federal government is setting fuel economy for the country, or California is.

  • Krayt||

    I think you guys are looking at it backwards. The power to regulate interstate trade is really about stopping states from setting up hurdles everywhere that hamper companies from, among other things, having to create 50 different products for 50 states.

    The CA wavier was because fed rules weren't good enough, or fast enough, to clean up CA cities fast enough, especially LA with mountains blocking in smog.

    So ok, they allow two standards. Later, other states can join the CA standard if they want.

    And the GP argument about wheat is an argument to scrap that idiotic rule. They want an argument to control wheat. So theu talk interstate wheat prices, then reason backwards to illegalize farmers self-growing feed lest it disprove the nominal constitutional reason to control wheat for other reasons.

  • Lee Moore||

    I think you guys are looking at it backwards. The power to regulate interstate trade is really about stopping states from setting up hurdles everywhere that hamper companies from, among other things, having to create 50 different products for 50 states.

    Aside from the judicial branch's view of the scope of the Commerce Clause, what are the other big changes in society that you have noticed since you recently reawoke from the coma you fell into after crashing your Model T ?

  • JesseAz||

    California can reduce smog without setting regulations on car manufacturers. They could increase gas taxes, set mileage limits for California drivers, etc.

  • Purple Martin||

    No Jesse, you are arguing only that California can reduce total miles driven--a different issue which, although it would have an ancillary effect on smog, does not effectively address the primary issue of concern.

    California's Federally-granted authority to apply more (but not less) stringent requirements to the first-cause source of the specific pollutants presenting the greatest threat provides the ability to get the most beneficial result with the least unrelated impact. As Jonathon notes, this is what the laboratory of applied Federalism promotes.

    So argue the remaining problems with that approach (potentially, many) instead of just generally harrumphing.

  • NToJ||

    What do you think it means for Wickard to apply? So far as I can tell, nobody is arguing that the feds can't preempt California. It's that they haven't. The issue is the scope of a specific waiver for California under the Clean Air Act.

  • DjDiverDan||

    The economic reality is that if California sets its own standards on automobiles, car manufacturers, because of California's population and market presence, are essentially forced to respond. If Wyoming, Montana, or North Dakota tried something like this, at least some manufacturers or importers could ignore it. Fine, they would say; we simply won't ship any cars into North Dakota until they change or repeal the standards. No car manufacturer would be willing to do that to California, at least not on its own, and if all of the car manufacturers reached an agreement not to sell in California, an antitrust lawsuit would almost certainly follow. Congress certainly has the authority to prevent California from flexing its economic muscles and dictating auto standards for the rest of the nation.

  • MatthewSlyfield||


    While the Trump Administration has proclaimed its support for "cooperative federalism," this proposed rule could significantly limit the ability of states to pursue their own environmental priorities, at least in the context of climate change.

    It's patently absurd to suggest that state level environmental policies even for a state as populous as California will have any meaningful impact on climate change. There is no rational reason for states to be pursuing their own priorities in this area.

  • Bruce Hayden||

    Not sure what you or Adler are talking about with "climate change". All that I can figure out is that it means that something bad is going to happen, but nobody knows quite what, due to increased levels of CO2, but it probably isn't going to be either global cooling or global warming.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    And it probably isn't going to be due to human CO2 emissions, and it probably isn't going to be catastrophic.

    However, even if is due to CO2 and even if it will be catastrophic, even if CA managed to reduce state wide CO2 emissions to zero, it would be so small relative to global CO2 emissions that it would have no measurable impact.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    PS, The climate has been changing more or less continuously for millions of years.

  • NToJ||

    I think the concern is the rate of change, not just that it is heating (or cooling).

  • DjDiverDan||

    BUT, given that past change has ALWAYS been cyclical, i.e., what goes up eventually goes down, then back up again, then back down, the precise rate of change is trivial.

  • NToJ||

    "...the precise rate of change is trivial."

    The rate of change isn't trivial to human activity. Even the glacial (pun intended) increases or decreases in prior human eras has had an affect on the way we do everything. And we are currently in unknown territory since it is hotter than it has been in the last 22,000 years, and the trend is getting hotter. Half a degree hotter from 9000 BC to 6750 BC doesn't really rate with 1.5 degrees in ~100 years.

  • DjDiverDan||

    "And we are currently in unknown territory since it is hotter than it has been in the last 22,000 years, and the trend is getting hotter."

    Both parts of those statements are demonstrably false - at least insofar as we can take localized proxy data relied upon by the Climate Alarmists at face value. Based upon that proxy record of temperatures, we had warmer global average temperatures during both the Roman Warm Period and the Medieval Warm Period. And the trend has been nonexistent for the last 19 years, at least according to satellite data (true, surface station measurements do show a very small warming trend, but only AFTER incorporating "adjustments" made by NOAA-GISS to the raw data, many of which are highly questionable).

  • NToJ||

    You'll need to source the evidence that global temps were warmer in either of those periods.

    Satellite data shows the same warming trend as all the other data. And the "pause" ended already.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    You'll need to source the evidence that global temps were warmer in either of those periods.

    You don't understand hypothesis testing. The burden is on you to show that it's warmer now than in "the last 22,000 years." The fact is that the proxies show that the MWP was as warm as it is today, and the HCO was warmer still. In fact each successive warming peak has been cooler than its predecessor going back to the start of the holocene.

    Satellite data shows a lower warming trend than many of the land-based sets, notably the Hanson-hot GISS. And all of the data sets show warming rates considerably below the predictions of the GCM's.

    As to rates of change, the warming from ~1980-2000 was nearly indistinguishable from the warming from 1910-1940. Since we are told by the experts that CO2 emissions did not become significant until 1950, perhaps you can explain where that earlier 30 year warming period came from?

  • NToJ||

    Burden? If someone makes a claim it's not unreasonable to ask for the source. It's easy to provide.

    You understand fossil fuels were used earlier than 1950? Anyway, as to variability, see this paper.

  • JesseAz||

    Oh God... You're a there was no midevil warm period truther. Sorry for interrupting your ignorance.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    So what? Even a complete decarbonisation of the CA economy wouldn't have any measurable effect on the rate of change.

  • NToJ||

    Sure, and picking up a piece of litter won't meaningfully affect the amount of litter on the street. But if more than one person does it...

  • Greg F||

    I think the concern is the rate of change ...

    Less than a couple of degrees in over a century is nothing.

    http://www.lwhancock.com/image.....rature.jpg

  • NToJ||

    Your chart ends at 1995.

  • Rossami||

    A fair criticism, NToJ. An updated chart would show temperatures continuing to rise until the El Nino of 1998 after which point the trend turned to basically flat (except for a spike during the El Nino of 2016).

    It should probably be noted that even if someone included the updates since 1995, they would be too small to see on that HoloceneOptimum chart.

  • NToJ||

    It wouldn't be too small. You can see the rapid rise from the 1960s onward on their graph, see the sharp increase on the right side of the graph. The scale (on the left) is a few degrees. Including 1998, and the recent end of the pause, would register.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Here's the "rapid rise from 1960." In reality there was a rise in the first third of the century, a modest fall in the middle third when CO2 emissions were first supposedly significant (1950-1980), and a rise again in the final third.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    And how much have we warmed since 1995? About 0.3degC with virtually all of that coming in 1998.

  • JesseAz||

    About 1 degree a century... A third of what models predicted for a doubling of carbon. Maybe the models are wrong. Actually... No maybes about it. Rate if change is the same from 1900-1930 as it was 1979-now.

  • NToJ||

    This isn't true.

  • VinniUSMC||

    This isn't true.

    It's about time you admit it.

  • Ben of Houston||

    Bruce, if you read the data, it's going to have mildly increased temperatures (mostly in reduced minimums, especially in colder latitudes). There will also be increased planetary rainfall due to the warmer temperatures increasing evaporation. Plants will grow better due to the increased CO2 (other limiting factors prevent it from being linear, but it will improve).

    We can say that there does not appear to be a meaningful increase in droughts, hurricanes, tornadoes, or other disasters. (Floods, possibly, but those are based on weather patterns that drown out the small increases). Ocean acidification is an order of magnitude too small to meaningfully change anything. Nothing can be determines about weather predictions since different models disagree, and we can genuinely say that there is no scientific consensus that is based on strong data.

    So, that's that. We can also say that California's actions are essentially meaningless since the changes aren't even a rounding error compared to the rest of the planet.

  • Bruce Hayden||

    Not sure what you or Adler are talking about with "climate change". All that I can figure out is that it means that something bad is going to happen, but nobody knows quite what, due to increased levels of CO2, but it probably isn't going to be either global cooling or global warming.

  • NToJ||

    "It's patently absurd to suggest that state level environmental policies even for a state as populous as California will have any meaningful impact on climate change."

    Well you have to start somewhere. And California's regulations are intended to do more than single-handedly prevent global climate change.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    It doesn't matter what California's climate change focused regulations are intended to do, there is precisely zero chance that they will have any measurable impact.

  • bernard11||

    Well, but multiply this argument by one hundred, and nobody does anything, when they could have an impact together.

    Besides, CA's standards have a wider impact than just CA. If they encourage the sale of electric vehicles, for example that means more such vehicles are manufactured, maybe costs go down, etc.

  • Greg F||

    Well, but multiply this argument by one hundred, and nobody does anything, when they could have an impact together.

    Eugenics did this and the results were not pretty.

  • NToJ||

    "Eugenics did this and the results were not pretty."

    Grow up. If you have a point, just make it.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    He did.

  • NToJ||

    Eugenics did something too. Look how that turned out. Bla bla

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    "Well, but multiply this argument by one hundred, and nobody does anything, when they could have an impact together."

    Maybe, maybe not. I've seen a number of write ups, not all from sceptics that even had every country met their commitments, the total impact of the Koyoto Protocol would have been about 0.1 degrees Celsius in avoided warming.

  • NToJ||

    "...the total impact of the Koyoto Protocol..."

    This is also an argument for more stringent requirements than Kyoto (rather than an argument against Kyoto entirely).

    I take your point but you're just arguing into a tragedy of the commons. If I don't farm, the world's global food supply isn't going to be affected. But that doesn't mean nobody should farm.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    It also doesn't mean that wishful thinking works.

  • Stumble||

    You think so?

    The world releases about 9,000 MMTCO2E (Million Metric Tons of CO2 equivalent) a year. The state of California alone accounts for 429MMTCO2E, or about 5% of the global total. Were California to reduce its release to zero it actually would have a pretty sizable effect on climate change. At the same time were California to reduce its release to zero the follow on effects of this on the rest of the US economy would be pretty substantial. By forcing car companies and industries to become more carbon conscious the effects would trickle down far outsides its own boarders.

    Now it is reasonable to ask if this is a desirable state to drive at, but there isn't much doubt there would be a real effect on the globe.

  • Jason Cavanaugh||

    But, Matthew Slyfield says there's "zero" chance of having "any" measurable impact.

    How can he possibly be wrong when speaking in absolutes?

  • Rossami||

    Your starting number is a bit low (closer to 10 gigatonnes as of 2010, the last year with reliable data) and your California estimate is rather a lot high (0.329 gigatonnes as of 2015 according the the EPA). But that just makes it around 3% rather than your guess of 5%.

    Where your analysis goes wrong is in the assumption that California's fuel emissions standards could ever get close to dropping that 0.33 Gt to zero. The total CO2 emissions include fossil fuels used for transportation, fossil fuels used for centralized energy production, cement production (a HUGE component of the human-caused CO2 emissions), land-use changes, agriculture, etc. If I read the study correctly, that number even includes completely natural causes of CO2 such as respiration. Nobody believes that all those sources can be driven to zero. Nor does California even try. Shoot, their regulations don't even try to get the fossil-fuel-for-transportation component to zero. They just require that auto manufacturers include some fraction of zero emissions vehicles in their fleet. Note that even Google, a notoriously "green" company with lots of spare cash and little pressure from outside investors, was forced to abandon its 100%-renewable energy standard. The realistic reduction from the fuel emissions standard is only a fraction of the total California emissions. con't

  • Rossami||

    con't
    Now you're right that there might be a follow-on effect. But the evidence supporting other trickle-down economic effects is at best mixed so there's little reason to assume that it would be vastly stronger here. Without such a multiplier, it does seem reasonable to estimate that the CA efforts will have only marginal (and maybe unmeasurable) effects on the globe.

  • bernard11||

    Alas, the Trump administration does not appear particularly interested in regulatory federalism when it comes to environmental protection.

    What a surprise.

  • VinniUSMC||

    Right. Actual interstate commerce is totally not within the Constitutionally granted purview of the federal government...?

    How's that logic pretzel taste? It looks a bit salty.

  • bernard11||

    Can you read?

    I didn't say it was unconstitutional. I said I was unsurprised that Trump doesn't care about it. The Constitution does not bar the Administration from letting CA make its own rules.

    Too tough to grasp?

  • VinniUSMC||

    So, you don't understand your own comments?

    Why would Trump care about federalism when it is legitimately within the federal government's purview, and, therefore, not about federalism?

    Your entire argument is completely irrational pretzel logic.

    Too tough to grasp?

  • bernard11||

    Why would Trump care about federalism when it is legitimately within the federal government's purview, and, therefore, not about federalism?

    Because it might be reasonable to let CA set its own standards even though the federal government could prevent it.

  • Variant||

    It might be, but it isn't.

  • bernard11||

    Ah. Well, that settles it, then.

  • NToJ||

    "Why would Trump care about federalism when it is legitimately within the federal government's purview, and, therefore, not about federalism?"

    Just because something is constitutionally permissible does not make it a good idea. The arguments for (or against) federalism don't just go away. You argued yourself into a dumb position, just leave it be.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Speaking of dumb positions, just because you are concerned about an issue doesn't make it real or somehow amplify the impact of pointless gestures. Or perhaps you think that interstate tariffs are a good idea generally?

  • bernard11||

    WTF are you talking about?

  • JonFrum||

    California's regulations don't just affect business in California - they add costs to ALL cars sold across the country. Isn't it Congress that regulates interstate commerce?

  • bernard11||

    California's regulations don't just affect business in California - they add costs to ALL cars sold across the country.

    They also reduce emissions across the country. Good.

  • Variant||

    The costs outweigh the benefits significantly. Not good.

  • bernard11||

    Do you have an analysis that proves this, from someone other than an oil company or an oil company stooge?

    Or did you just make that up?

  • JesseAz||

    Quick bernard, poor people have access to energy, go kick the cords out. They don't deserve it.

  • bernard11||

    Do you ever have something to say? Or is it all just bile and stupidity?

  • Rigelsen||

    And yet, California has no authority to reduce emissions across the country.

  • bernard11||

    They don't claim to.

  • apedad||

    "Cooperative federalism" coming from Trump is a joke and anyone buying that is brain dead.

    Trump has never and will never 'cooperate' on anything.

    For Trump, it's win or lose--there is no cooperating.

  • BillyG||

    This is one example of the contradiction in the court system and separation of powers. How can both a state and the feds have the power to regulate the same thing? Why is it not one or the other? How is it that it's only one, unless the other wants to do it?

  • NToJ||

    In this case it's because Congress specifically permits California to do so.

    Separation of powers has to do with the three federal branches. Could you expand on the "contradiction in the court system"?

  • apedad||

    I think Billy separation of powers between the federal and state governments, i.e.,

    Amend. X. The The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

  • apedad||

    Billy meant... dang it where's the edit function?!?

  • NToJ||

    So federalism, got it.

  • apedad||

    Right, and while the federal govt is the appropriate entity to tackle environmental issues (since the environment doesn't recognize borders), that should NOT prevent states from enacting more stringent standards.

  • VinniUSMC||

    Unless the federal government decides it should.

  • jph12||

    "that should NOT prevent states from enacting more stringent standards."

    Why not? Legislation typically requires trade offs and balancing costs and benefits. This is especially true for environmental regulations. If the federal government is truly the appropriate entity, why should a state be able to override the balance struck by the federal government?

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    Um, because Congress is part of the federal government? And Congress gave California the green light.

  • jph12||

    Um, do you really read apedad's comment as being limited to this particular application of this particular statute? Really?

  • bernard11||

    Why should it be so limited? Congress can, if it likes, let states set more stringent standards in any such instance.

    It is neither unconstitutional or necessarily foolish for Congress to do so.

  • jph12||

    apedad is arguing that states should always be allowed to set more stringent standards, not that Congress may permit them to do so in particular statutes. If the federal government is truly the proper entity to establish environmental regulations, he is wrong.

    Congress can also choose to allow states to set less stringent standards if it so desired. That would also be constitutional and not necessarily foolish.

  • Rigelsen||

    Unless it literally addresses Interstate Commerce. That is, for good reason, exclusive purview of the federal government.

  • bernard11||

    How can both a state and the feds have the power to regulate the same thing?

    Conceptually it's quite simple. The federal government sets a standard and allows the states to set stricter standards if they want to.

  • perlchpr||

    California is really not virtue signalling on this issue hard enough. They need to ban the use of fossil fuels within the state entirely.

  • DjDiverDan||

    Yeah, that'll work out well for California, given how much of both its industrial and residential power supply depends on fossil fuel. And what proportion of California's transportation needs (like transporting food to local grocers and markets) depends on fossil fuel. I hate to underestimate the stupidity of politicians (of either political party), but it's hard to imagine even California Democrats (who, judging by Nancy Pelosi, Diane Feinstein, and the California legislature, are incredibly stupid) doing something that insane.

  • Kazinski||

    California shouldn't be allowed to impose regulations that make cars significantly more expensive for all Americans.

    As for the ZEV issue, I thought that there was a new major automotive manufacturer based in California that was making excusively electric cars. I don't see why there would still need to be a mandate on other manufacturers to sell cars people don't want when Tesla is selling cars people do want.

  • DjDiverDan||

    Tesla is selling cars people want PROVIDED that the Federal and State Governments keep subsidizing those sales with huge tax credits. If you really want to eliminate tax breaks for the wealthy, it would be hard to name a better place to start than with these tax credits. Given Tesla's pretty spotty record of profitability, and the rate it has burned through cash in the past, I wouldn't give good odds on Tesla's survivability if these tax subsidies are eliminated.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    Tesla is dying either way. Musk is the greatest scam artist since the original Ponzi.

    More sales than the Delorean but basically the same end.

  • Lee Moore||

    It's not hard to argue that forcing manufacturers to sell some proportion of ZEVs might have some beneficial effect on air pollution in some Californian "airsheds."

    But that's a looong way from Prof Adler's précis of the rules :

    provided that certain conditions are met, including a demonstration that California "need[s] such State standards to meet compelling and extraordinary conditions."

    which include :

    (a) a "demonstration"
    (b) "California needs"
    (c) "compelling and extraordinary" conditions

    Off the top of my head, any "demonstration" of the effect of the ZEV rule is going to be complicated – even demonstrating the effect on the number of cars in any particular airshed is going to be tricky. "Need" and "compelling" sound like the standard ought to be not far off something like "strict scrutiny." And "extraordinary" implies a condition that is temporarily exacerbated, not a chronic problem.

    So while Adler is right that ZEV affects things that may have a local effect, it's not obvious that a statewide ZEV rule is going to pass muster on the detail. So the real question is – were the Californian ZEV exemptions waved through by a friendly EPA, or have they got a solid case that survives something approaching strict scrutiny.

  • Lee Moore||

    The second question is - what's the standard for revisiting an existing waiver ? If the EPA changes its mind in the "OK we agree you can have a waiver" direction, that seems OK as that's what happened between the Bush and Obama EPAs. But in the other direction, does California get a stronger legal right to resist the withdrawal of the waiver beyond the objective merits of its "demonstration" because they have already got an established waiver ?

  • Stephen Lathrop||

    What does strict scrutiny have to do with this? Strict scrutiny is for defense of personal rights, not for substituting a court's judgment for a legislature's with regard to enumerated powers.

    Or is this a new libertarian, "strict scrutiny for everything," prescription for Supreme Court takeover of government?

  • Gunstar1||

    It will never be less expensive for an automaker to cater to differing local regulations. It is basic economics. What cars would they offer in state A versus state B? What fuel mileage will the new car they are producing be? What is the cost compared to a competitor vehicle. For every state that adopts the rule. Those expenses will be passed on to the consumer.

    Nice trying to limit it to California or regulation adopters paying for it only, but there are corporate decisions on what kind of vehicle to make. Not only are you getting the cost of these regulatory burdens, but also the cost of some vehicles which are made to fit those regulations in one state, is still a higher price for a vehicle in a non regulatory state. They are not going to make a less fuel efficient version just for non-regulatory states, it will be the higher cost more efficient one. Are you going to pass that difference in cost to Californians too? A car not made because of not fitting into the differing regulations, which would have been profitable without the differing regulations, is a cost as well. You gonna add that to the total as well?

    No out of state sales either, they would get around paying the added cost of those regulations.

    It seems you are underestimating what is truly involved in this if you think that multiple state regulations would not increase the cost of all vehicles everywhere else.

  • Rigelsen||

    Yes, Adler is trying to be too clever by half, and ignoring basic economics in the bargain as well as why the Constitution has an Interstate Commerce Clause in the first place.

  • bernard11||

    Adler seems to fully recognize that letting CA make its own rules will increase expenses for car manufacturers.

    The very first sentence he quotes from his own NR article is:

    Allowing different jurisdictions to adopt different rules may well impose costs on nationwide firms, but that's a cost of doing business in a diverse compound public

  • Gunstar1||

    It isn't that it "may well" be more expensive. It will be more expensive, by a lot.

    This shows just how off he is..
    Just as California should not be able to impose its preferences on the rest of the nation, it should not be prevented from adopting the rules California voters are willing to accept — and if automakers were willing to let California consumers bear the costs of their state's own policies, that might temper their environmental appetites.

    By allowing a large market share to dictate regulations, the manufactures will cater to those regulations by altering it's product line to fit. Those are then sold to everyone else. Therefore California has imposed its preferences on the rest of the nation.

    He so misses the point that if the California consumers actually did bear all the costs involved in the regulation, only the very rich could afford them (assuming no out of state purchases are allowed).

    If you glance over the economic issues, the plan sounds fine. If you actually look at the details, it all unravels.

  • Limey||

    I just love sitting here in England reading blogs from the USA. You're so cute ! Serious and thoughtful at the same time as having some information in your heads that just doesn't quite get published in the same way over here...........

  • Kazinski||

    Well that's because you've got a government run broadcaster that dominates the media and you've given up your right to free speech to boot.

    No wonder it doesn't get published the same way there.

  • ReaderY||

    From the point of view of the Administration, since there's no emergency pollution situation anywhere, there certainly isn't in California, and hence there's no need for a waiver.

    After all, all that stuff about pollution being bad for you was all just a bunch of hooey those egghead hippie environmentalist types cooked up.

  • bernard11||

    Yes, and climate change is a Chinese hoax.

    Trump said so, and he wouldn't lie, would he?

  • Variant||

    Climate change is a religion.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    It is like Lysenkoism.

  • bernard11||

    Climate change denialism is know-nothing Trumpism.

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