* McCarthy – more Volkswagen executives will go to jail
* Nichols – Governor Brown invited Chinese to sell their electric vehicles in California
* McCarthy – when the federal government takes a break, CARB doesn’t
* Nichols – U.S. as a whole is not as big a part of the World market for cars and trucks as it once was
During the Clinton Administration Mary Nichols worked in DC heading up the air program. She was given the task of administering the new version of the Clean Air Act. Nichols quickly realized that what she would be doing is replicating legislature in the Federal air quality legislation that had already been implemented in California.
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) 50th Anniversary was celebrated with a discussion between Nichols and Gina McCarthy, the former administrator for the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Connecticut is one of the twelve States that has followed in California’s lead with the clean air act. In her Happy Anniversary remarks to CARB McCarthy celebrated Nichols and CARB, “It is wonderful to see how CARB leadership has driven the Federal leadership and how it underpins it and many times how it prevented the Federal government from going backwards.”
Dieselgate had a profound effect on the Nation and Volkswagen. The key, according to McCarthy, was the resources that were leveraged by the EPA, by CARB, and by Canada. The millions of dollars Volkswagen paid for their crime will be spent on the infrastructure for electric cars. Without CARB, the cheating would not have been found, but this was the first time the ability to leverage resources Nationally, and Internationally was implemented.
The term skullduggery was used to describe the history of car companies cheating and Nichols was almost zen-ful in her admission that cheating has happened before, and it will happen again, “Whenever you have regulations that cost people money, and you’re in a competitive business environment, which the industry is, there will be people looking for ways to cut corners. I think one of the things we learned from the experience was that we were not putting enough of our assets onto the enforcement side, into what was happening on the road. There were ways we hadn’t even thought of that someone could be caught cheating on the test. It’s just a dynamic situation. The good news is that most of the companies most of the time follow the rules, because the consequences when you are caught are so enormous, as the Volkswagen group showed, that most companies wouldn’t risk it.”