One of the problems with the California Air Resources Board is that they seem to be a bunch of liberals stuck in Sacramento. This makes them angry. And frankly, despite the fact that the city's metro area seems to nearly span the Central Valley, in some ways, the region is more desolate than ever. And while it's been full of vapid, unfriendly California rednecks forever, now it's full of vapid California rednecks in sport-utility vehicles. So we understand why the liberals want them off the road. The problem is this: the state isn't only defined by technology and Hollywood.
It's also one of the richest agricultural areas in the nation, part of which contributes to air-quality problems due to America's seemingly insatiable appetite for bovine-derived products. It may have the most diverse populace of any state in the Union ethnically, culturally and subculturally. The Valley has air pollution problems, no doubt, as does Los Angeles; as do many of the Bay Area communities. Most soccer moms would be better off with a Honda Odyssey than with an H2 or a Suburban. But the automakers are incensed by lawsuits from states regarding the environmental damage caused by large SUVs.
Says Dave Barthmuss, the General's spokesman for environmental and energy affairs,
"If we lost (in court), certain vehicles could not be offered for sale — vehicles that consume more fuel than others. There would be fewer SUVs and we might not be able to offer them for sale in California. It could spell the end of the big SUV in California."
This doesn't actually sound so doom-and-gloom to us as it does to Barthmuss, but we understand his pain; American automakers have built themselves around the SUV, and if the automakers lose their battle, it could mean a punch in the gut to many of the world's car companies who hopped on the SUV bandwagon. Not just in California, but in the other states that have hitched themselves to CARB's wagon. We don't necessarily want SUVs off the road, we just want the people who drive the majority of them off the highway and out of our lives, and preferably, out of the state of California. Just like the folks in Sacramento. The difference is, we'd edge out the Prius drivers, too. [Thanks to Scott for the tip.]
Five US States to Mercedes: Bluetec Not Green Enough [Internal]