Mary Nichols, Chairperson, California Air Resources Board (CARB), spoke at the National Hydrogen Association conference in Sacramento, CA.
I have taken parts of her speech, and her interview with me after the speech, and broken them up into relevant subjects.
This video is about CARB’s request for a waiver from the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (Fed-EPA) so that California can regulate greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles.
A little history:
The Clean Air Act (CAA) is a federal act that was established in 1970 to create nationwide air quality standards for public health.
California was the first state to institute emission standards; even before the CAA enactment. Because of this, the CAA has always granted California a waiver to set higher emission standards.
If CARB regulates greenhouse gases from vehicles, they would have to indirectly regulate miles per gallon (fuel economy) because the less gasoline or diesel your car uses per gallon, the fewer greenhouse gases your car will emit.
This has created an overlap between NHTSA (part of DOT) and Fed-EPA authorities. Actually, the Fed-EPA probably wouldn’t have gone up against NHTSA, but they had this pesky little group called CARB that decided to be a pain in their tailpipe. CARB has asked for the waiver to implement a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, effectively telling the auto industry that they will raise miles per gallon.
The states are seething because Congress won’t do their job. The auto industry is fighting the states because they say it would be cost prohibitive to implement standards state-to-state, and the auto industry wants a national standard.
Here is Nichols talking about the status of the waiver.