Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Global Warming & California

Some hitches in the recent legislation to make California a global leader in the field.

State's hitting red lights on emissions law
By Dale Kasler and Jim Downing - Bee Staff Writers
Published 12:00 am PDT Sunday, July 1, 2007

If state officials have their way, new motor vehicles sold in California will come equipped with engine accessories like variable flow turbochargers and dual cam phasers, designed to reduce global warming.

The improvements are supposed to begin late next year, with the arrival of the 2009 models and the implementation of Assembly Bill 1493, a state law requiring automakers to curb emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The law rolls out gradually, with emissions to be slashed 30 percent by 2016.

But don't hold your breath. AB 1493, adopted in 2002 and conceived as California's first major shot in the war on global warming, is running into friction from automakers, the White House and members of Congress. Litigation, red tape and politics are threatening to delay, weaken or kill the law altogether.

The saga of AB 1493 shows the difficulties of translating bold ideas on global warming into concrete action. It also reveals how the problems that occur when a single state -- even one as influential as California, with a high-wattage governor who's adopted the cause -- tries to wrestle Detroit and Washington into line with its environmental goals.