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'Cool Cars' embodies Sacramento's 'bumbling, well-intentioned, paternalistic nonsense'

Posted by Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications on Feb. 23, 2010

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is looking to finalize its "Cool Cars" policy this Thursday, once again putting regulation before reason and imposing knee jerk command-and-control mandates with no regard for economic impacts and, in this case, public safety.

**** Since this blog was written I have been corrected by CARB that it is not on the agenda for Thursday.  But no doubt folks are still showing up to testify in the public comment period on the issue *****

Here's the nickel tour:

CARB's  "Cool Cars" policy was set up in 2009 as an AB 32 early action item to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions by reflecting heat away from cars, thereby requiring less air conditioning and less fuel.

CARB originally tried to ban dark colored vehicles.  That didn't fly with the public, auto dealers, manufacturers and anyone else who breathes in California.  Whew.

CARB then focused on a policy that mandated a reflective layer in all car windshields by 2012 and all windows by 2016.  They did this before any analysis on economic or safety impacts and without regard for alternatives with similar emission reductions.

Policies like this require extensive research to ensure proper benefit with the least amount of economic burden.  Over the past few months important information and data on these two fronts has emerged from the Wireless Association and the Auto Alliance that prove that the proposed "Cool Cars" policy creates:

  • A substantial economic burden (costs 2 and a half times more than CARB reported)
  • A serious concern about public safety because of negative effects on GPS ankle mechanisms and less cell phone 911 call completion
  • Overall administrative nightmares for any system using toll road and bridge transponders

Even when presented with these problems and new information on better alternatives, CARB is still unwilling to budge and provide any flexibility or necessary changes in the regulation.

The ultimate absurdity of "Cool Cars" is that the policy discourages new green tech and innovation in our automobiles.  Solar absorptive technology incorporated in windshields is an alternative approach and is 90 percent as effective in reducing the build-up of heat in a vehicle. This technology has none of the negative outcomes of the proposed "Cool Cars" regulations.   Further, there is a decent chance this less costly and more efficient technology (along with other alternatives) could be adopted nationally or semi-nationally, meaning larger emission reductions countrywide.

CARB in the end wants it one way.  Their way.  CARB is going it alone, ignoring the studies and contributing to what the Orange County Register called in a November editorial, "Sacramento's caricature of bumbling, well-intentioned, paternalistic nonsense".


2 comments | Post your comment

Comments: 2


Feb. 23, 2010 4:36 pm

Some of these bureaucrats just seem to have too much time on their hands. Given that catastrophic AGW is a non-happening, AB 32 should be recinded and all of the staff let go. It will help our small businesses, vehicle owners and decrease the budget shortfall in the process.


March 10, 2010 10:37 am

I am not one to favor regulation either, but in this case the information listed is mostly wrong. The absorbing solution is not even 50% of the benefit vs the 90% stated and the reflective technology has no safety or other issues as it has been used for over 15 years in Europe on tens of millions of vehicles. It is in most buildings in the US and up to 30 million vehicles here. If you buy an Audi, Mercedes, etc... you already have it. Most aftermarket window tint films have the same properties regarding signal attenuation. True third party testing, of which CARB did some, shows very little signal strength change for cell phones and other devices and even a boost in some cases. Do you trust your cell phone company? Must be the great service they have always given you. It all depends on signal reflections and the reality is that the difference is within the norms of signal variation. By the way, the reg has never mandated solar reflective technology, just a max level of solar transmission. Non metallic solutions already exist to meet the levels required so there are already technology choices. Why not fight a more offensive proposed reg than one that actually makes your car more comfortable and efficient while paying for itself over time. This is just a catch up for the US vs the rest of the world. Regarding jobs, there are California companiies that will invest and create jobs as a result of this reg. Someone please tell me who will lose?

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