Sunday, August 9, 2009
ARB Delays Offroad Diesel Implementation
California's Air Resources Board, ARB, has delayed slightly the implementation deadlines for reduced air emissions from certain segments of large diesel engines used in off-road applications such as construction. The reason offered was financial hardship to owners of off-road fleets, created by the economic crisis, or recession.
One can only hope that the same rationale will be applied to the AB 32 regulations, once they are finalized. The present schedule calls for ARB to finalize the regulations by 2011, and implementation for most regulations begins in 2012. A few are already being implemented.
The successful lobbying by the off-road fleet industry can be emulated and applied for other areas where AB 32 will impact the greatest.
AB 32 will, among other things, increase the price of new cars by requiring very high miles per gallon, which virtually dictates many hybrids which are expensive and beyond the reach of a vast segment of the population. AB 32 also has bio-fuel mandates that increase the price of gasoline and diesel, further impacting all who purchase those fuels. AB 32 also mandates 33 percent renewable energy by 2020, and 20 percent by the end of December, 2010. More renewable energy increases the price to consumers of electric power. AB 32 also mandates additional costs for new home construction, some estimates state by $50,000 or more.
But perhaps the greatest impact of AB 32 is the inevitable loss of jobs, the economic disruption caused by reduced tax revenue, reduced consumer spending, and population migration to other states. Will ARB soften the draconian impacts of AB 32 in the face of such hardship?
The precedent has now been set.