California Cities Object To Greenhouse Gas Law

California's SB 375 attempts to require cities to develop in a way that reduces greenhouse gas emissions. But some cities say the new law is misguided, and the state should focus on zero-emission vehicles instead.

"The most public attack so far came last week from Ty Schuiling, planning director for the San Bernardino Associated Governments – a group of local governments that can be expected to be hostile to SB 375's goals. At a conference last week, Schuiling challenged the idea that land use changes are required to meet the state's greenhouse gas reduction goals because the goal cannot be met by making cleaner vehicles, as the California Air Resources Board has suggested. "That is simply not true," Schuiling said.

A similar but more subtle argument came from Hasan Ikhrata, the executive director of the Southern California Association of Governments, which is charged with implementing SB 375 in the Los Angeles region. Speaking on the same panel as Schuiling, Ikhrata said: "I don't think 375 should be thought of as a global warming bill. I don't think it's the most cost-effective way to reduce GHG emissions. When I speak about 375 I speak about a land use bill, an urban form bill.""

Full Story: Locals Attack SB 375 As Inefficient Way To Go After Climate Change



Irvin Dawid's picture

Can Vehicle Efficiency alone meet GHG reductions?

Schuling and Ikharata essentially state that vehicle efficiency, and presumably the low carbon fuel standard, should be the avenues toward reducing GHG from the transportation sector, and that reducing VMT per SB 375 is inappropriate. They point to the expected increase in the efficiency of the fleet as proof.

But what happens when the auto fleet doesn't 'turn over' as they expect? In fact, that's just what is happening, as the NYT reports today, "Industry Fears Americans May Quit New Car Habit": "In recent years Americans sent new-car sales to levels of more than 17 million a year. Now the market has collapsed by 46 percent to below 10 million, as people are making do with the cars they have..."

In fact, the new efficiency standards that have received much acclaim are expected to add about $1300 to the cost of a new vehicle - reducing further the turnover of the fleet.

Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA

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