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Miscellaneous/Environment 051014
 (Oct,2005) West Coast States unite on car emissions. Oregon and Washington are getting ready to adopt California.s new vehicle emission standards to reduce greenhouse gases. When that happens, California.s newly implemented emissions standards . the toughest in the country . will be in effect along the entire West Coast from Canada to Mexico.
The requirements would mean new cars sold in the three West Coast states would have to emit 30% less carbon dioxide , 20% fewer toxic pollutants and up to 20% fewer smog-causing pollutants than the established federal standards. The regulations will be phased in starting in 2009, with all new cars, SUVS and light trucks required to be in full compliance by 2016. The 2016 date was set to give automakers plenty of time to comply with the new standards. The auto industry is suing California over its new standards, saying the state lacks authority to implement such regulations and that the rules would eventually add $3,000 to the cost of a new car. Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski said Oregon and the other states need to act because the Bush administration has failed to take steps to curtail global warming. Kulongoski said, .If the federal
government doesn.t want to move forward on global warming, then the states are going to have to do it.. Washington state lawmakers voted to bring the strict California car-emissions standards to their state. However, as part of a compromise, lawmakers made their bill contingent on Oregon adopting the same standards. Auto industry  lobbyists then persuaded Oregon legislators to insert language into a state environmental agency budget forbidding the state from spending money to adopt or enforce
California- style emission rules. But Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski, who has aligned himself with environmentalists in the past, says he will use his veto authority to delete that provision from the budget. That will clear the way for the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission to adopt the new tailpipe emission rules for Oregon by the end of the year, Kulongoski said. Under the federal Clean Air Act, California is allowed to set pollution standards for cars and trucks that are more stringent than federal standards. Other states can choose either California.s standards or the looser federal rules. At least six states in the Northeast also are moving to adopt California.s new tailpipe standards to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars.

 (July 2004) American Lung Association’s Air Report states that the Sacramento region rates seventh in the nation for ozone pollution and eighth worst for short-term particulate pollution.  Sacramento,  home of the California Fuel Cell Partnership and the California Air Resources Board, does not have a general population that supports clean air via their actions.

The American Lung Association of Sacramento - Emigrant Trail’s report  announced the results of a study of participation in “Spare the Air” days by the Cleaner Air Partnership.  The study showed that only 1.6 percent of motorists heeded calls  to reduce driving during “Spare the Air” days in 2003.  Sue Teranishi, President-Elect of the American Lung Association of Sacramento-Emigrant Trails, commented on the study and stated, “Fortunately, great examples of people dedicated to cleaner air are easy to find; however, changing habits on a mass scale remains a challenge.”   


 (July 2004) The California Air Resources Board (CARB) releases draft proposal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles by 30% by the year 2014.  Public comment is being accepted until July 2004 ; the final staff proposal will be released in August and presented to the Board in September.  For complete  information,  visit the website:

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is challenging a global warming abatement law passed by the California state legislature in 2002 and the follow up proposals by CARB.  The manufacturers argue that it is a backhanded way to control fuel economy, which is under federal government authority.


 (July 2004) The city council in Paris, France passes resolution calling for a ban on SUVs within its city limits.  If the resolution  is kept in the overall plan to reduce the city’s gridlock, it will become effective in 2006.  The Deputy Mayor Denis Baupin stated, “Our idea is to limit the circulation of the most-polluting vehicles.  This means SUVs and lots of other vehicles that don’t meet the European pollution standards.”
 (June 2004) Court voids SoCal clean air mandate
The U. S. Supreme court ruled that the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) could not impose clean air vehicle requirements on private vehicle fleets by requiring natural gas or even cleaner trucks. The diesel engine manufacturers, the petroleum industry and the Bush Administration successfully argued that such regulation was the responsibility of state and local governments. SCAQMD estimates the conversion would have reduced the area’s harmful emissions by 4,870 tons at an additional cost of 40-50 K per vehicle in 5,500 vehicles.
The Desert Sun, April 29, 2004, pp. A1,A7
 (April 2004) The World Resources Institute (WRI)  and Sustainable Asset Management (SAM) report on the impact of climate change on competitiveness and value creation in the automobile industry.  In 2002, carbon intensity in relation to  OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturer) profits were measured. Some OEMs rely heavily for sales and profits on vehicles that emit relatively high amounts of CO2.    The highest intensity ratings were from Ford, General Motors and DaimlerChrysler.  These companies were followed by Toyota, BMW, Nissan and Honda. The best ratings were received by VW, Renault and PSA.   All things being equal, OEMs that earn a relatively large proportion of their profits from carbon-intensive segments will find carbon constraints more challenging.

OEMs are differently positioned to respond to the challenge of carbon constraints.  This is because of differences in:
¨    segment mix -- e.g. 49 percent of DaimlerChrysler’s 2002 sales  in the U.S., the European Union and Japanese markets were light trucks compared to only 3 percent for VW.
¨  carbon intensity of models -- e.g., the average GM sports utility vehicle (SUV) emits 40 percent more carbon emissions per kilometer traveled than the average Honda SUV.
¨geographic distributions of sales -- e.g. GM and Ford are dependent on sales in the United States while PSA and Renault primarily sell vehicles within the European Union.)  

Given this information, the question then arises, “What costs do OEMs face in meeting higher fuel economy standards in 2015, given their initial sales levels and vehicle mix?  Because OEM’s product mixes differ with respect to carbon-intensity levels, the costs incurred in meeting new standards will vary across the industry.  Estimations were made that the average OEM cost per vehicle could differ by a factor of 25, from $650 for BMW to less than $25 for Honda.  GM’s cost is estimated at about $375 while Toyota’s is $175.  (Additional information (a full report) is available at two websites: or
(August 2003) A Cleaner Environment - Is the U.S. really making any near-term major changes?
 Electric cars part of parks’ effort to improve air quality
The fleet of 500 Ford Th!nk vehicles, being donated in California to the national and state parks, have found a home for 12 of the EVs at Death Valley National Park where Xanterra Parks and Resorts, the largest concessions operator in state and national parks, will operate them.
Star Tribune
August 25, 2002, p. G5
Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers pursue litigation to challenge California’s new law - AB1493. The new law sets emission standards for carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that would apply to new passenger cars and light trucks in 2009. The Alliance made this statement, “Federal law and common sense prohibit each state from developing its own fuel economy standards. Because of the impact on the entire national economy, 20 years ago Congress reserved the issue of fuel economy standards to the federal government in order to balance all sectors of the economy and to avoid a patch work quilt of state regulations.”
The Natural Resources Defense Council supported the California legislation. Such supporters say that passenger cars and light trucks are responsible for 40 percent of California’s carbon dioxide emissions.(09-02BD78-10)
Despite U.S. rejection, the world continues working on the Kyoto Protocol

Just before the Conference of Parties (COP) - 6b in 2001 at Bonn, Germany, the U.S. rejected the Kyoto Protocol because of refusals to allow the U.S. to use carbon ‘sinks’ such as forests, agricultural areas or exports of clean energy technology. COP 6(b) continued international negotiations and identified COP-7 which was held in Morocco in November 2001. At this meeting procedures and institutions needed to make the Kyoto Protocol fully operational were finalized. One-hundred eighty-five states are party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which requires a majority vote of 55% for ratification. Only 35 states have provided that ratification.(06-02BD75-11)
Today’s Chemist At Work
April 2002, 67-71
Adobe Photoshop Image The U.S. Energy Information Agency states that increased energy consumption is largely led by oil and that CO2 emissions may increase by as much as 3.8 billion tons per year by 2020. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) says that most of the growth for energy will occur in the developing countries of Asia, Central and South America.

Although CO2 emissions are growing rapidly( a projected 62% increase between 1999 and 2020), the carbon intensity - the amount emitted per dollar of gross domestic product (GDP) - is projected to improve throughout the world in the next two decades. The most rapid improvements will occur in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.
Energy use for transportation is projected to increase by 3.8% per year in the developing world, compared with average annual increases of 1.7 percent for industrial countries.(06-02BD75-7)
A full report on the energy outlook is available at