Efforts to Improve Fuel Economy Meeting Misguided Opposition

Tom Elias sees opposition to the California Air Resources Board to clean up the emissions from motor vehicles as short-sighted.

Published: 03-Jan-2012

If California highways and parking lots of 2025 look considerably different from today’s, it will probably be because they’ll contain almost 1.5 million more hybrid cars and trucks, hydrogen-driven vehicles, and plug-in hybrids that run mostly on electricity except on long trips.

That’s the vision behind the latest set of proposed rules rolled out by the California Air Resources Board even as the Republican chairman of the main investigative committee in the House of Representatives seeks to drag it into hearings about whether it is exceeding its mission.

There is no doubt about the mission of the ARB: Clean up California air at least enough to meet the not-so-extreme standards of the federal Clean Air Act. That law specifically gives the state board authority to do what’s necessary to reach its goals in some of America’s smoggiest areas, even if that means taking tougher actions than those of national agencies including Congress itself.

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