New Proposed Cali Smog Laws Possibly Problematic

CARB can't seem to leave well-enough alone. Yes, California has air-quality issues due to cars, industry and its particular geography. We certainly don't dispute that. But proposed legislation that includes random roadside checks and the imposition of smog standards on cars that were previously exempt seems wrongheaded, Left-Coast knee-jerk thinking. Apparently, part of the new rules could require testing of '66-'75 model-year vehicles, which are a staple of the aftermarket and encompass quite a few of the best-loved models in the enthusiast community.

Certainly, we in the Golden State have pollution issues, but down here at the harbor, the vast majority of the pollution is caused by antiquated setups at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The idling diesel trucks and the ships burning dirtier-than-Xtina bunker fuel while idling either in the slips or just offshore are a massive problem.

The reality of the situation is that classic cars are a minor drop in the bucket, and as the birthplace of hot rodding, there's a historical tradition that doesn't deserve to be traded in for meaningless sops to corporate interests that will be a tiny drop in the bucket in terms of California air-quality, but a massive blow to a ton of small businesses who specialize in the restoration and modification of classics, as well as small-scale manufacturing.

We can't stand behind this type of legislation that takes advantage the lack of legal clout of small businesses and the working poor while large corporations are still allowed to slide.

I was at SEMA when Vic Edelbrock, Jr. said to a friend of his, on the occasion of Bush's day-before re-election, "Thank God. We really dodged a bullet there." It really made me never want to buy another Edelbrock product again. That said, while these new regs could hurt companies like Edelbrock, they've got a nationwide market. What it's really going to hurt are local California businesses whose contributions to our air pollution problem are frankly negligible.

You can come for our hot rods after the Hanjins of the world are stopped from belching grossness into the air over our ports. Until then, CARB, lay off. [Thanks to Scott for the heads-up.]

Related:
33 Percent of All cars in US to Fall Under CARB's Rule in 2009 [Internal]