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Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Suing for the Right to Pollute

The AP is reporting that a couple auto manufacturers are suing California over planned carbon dioxide limiting laws. These laws would stand out as the first of their kind in the world. Since it would be, I believe, unconstitutional to set higher than federal laws concerning fuel economy because of the commerce clause, California is trying to limit carbon dioxide output. The automakers are saying that is directly tied to fuel economy.

Of course it's not. A diesel car makes more carbon dioxide than a hybrid and it has great fuel economy. The VW Golf diesel gets higher gas mileage than a Toyota Echo, and makes more carbon dioxide, for the 2005 model year.

Fuel economy sells, at least in some states, like California. The least polluting companies tend to do well here, better than their more polluting competitors. If the country keeps urbanizing, and gas prices keep going up, we'll see more people buying into less polluting cars, just because they pollute less, not because they save money necessarily.

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