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Energy:
Greenhouse emissions; regulations; fuel economy

Our Position: oppose
Bill Number: HB2017
Sponsor: Konopnicki
Legislative Session: 2008 Legislative Session

If the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency does not suspend the catalytic converter rule, it will cause Ford to shut down and would result in: 1) reduction of gross national product by $17 billion; 2) increased unemployment of 800,000; and 3) decreased tax receipts of $5 billion at all levels of government so that some local governments would become insolvent.

               — Lee Iacocca, Former Ford and Chrysler President Lee Iacocca in a 1973 speech

HB2017 Now: greenhouse emissions; regulations; fuel economy sends the message that Arizona does not want to do its part to clean up the air or reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants. 

It will undercut “Clean Car” and clean air programs and significantly restrict the Governor’s ability to participate in regional efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions as well as other pollutants.  The Clean Car rule has gone through an extensive stakeholder process – the Climate Change Advisory Group met for over a year plus there were extensive working group meetings in which anyone could participate – and was unanimously approved in the Climate Change Advisory Group.  It also went through rulemaking where there was a comment period and also a public meeting that the working public could actually attend.  It was held in the evening.  The rule is scheduled to go to the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council in May.  This last minute attempt to stop it is inappropriate and unconscionable.

The Clean Car rule will reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as other pollutants, including the precursors to ozone.  The Valley has a serious ozone problem which is at its worst during the hot summer months.  Ozone is formed when sunlight reacts with volatile organic compounds emitted from vehicles, industry, and other sources.  Transportation is the number one contributor to ozone pollution.  Because of the weather patterns, areas in the northeast valley such as Fountain Hills suffer most from this pollution.  In 2005, there were 30 exceedances of the federal health standard for ozone.  With the new ozone standard we will have to look at new and creative means of reducing ozone pollution.  Implementing the Clean Car Standard will be a good start.

 

Status

There are still efforts to undercut the Western Climate Initiative and the Clean Car Rules are on hold until the Environmental Protection Agency grants California its waiver or the court rules on it.  In the meantime, the car companies and big utilities are getting exactly what they want -- inaction.

Action Needed

You can reach the Governor by clicking on Governor.  Just fill in your information and a short message thanking her for the veto of HB2017.

More information

To read a copy of the bill and for a more detailed status, just click on HB2017.

Contact

Sandy Bahr at (602) 253-8633 or sandy.bahr@sierraclub.org

Background

The Clean Car rule will reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as other pollutants, including the precursors to ozone.  The Valley has a serious ozone problem which is at its worst during the hot summer months.  Ozone is formed when sunlight reacts with volatile organic compounds emitted from vehicles, industry, and other sources.  Transportation is the number one contributor to ozone pollution.  Because of the weather patterns, areas in the northeast valley such as Fountain Hills suffer most from this pollution.  In 2005, there were 30 exceedances of the federal health standard for ozone.  With the new ozone standard we will have to look at new and creative means of reducing ozone pollution.  Implementing the Clean Car Standard will be a good start.

Regarding the Western Climate Initiative, this bill is premature, at best.  What exactly has happened that has undercut legislative authority?  Nothing.  What prohibits legislators from participating in it?  Not a thing.  Are the utilities at the table in this effort?  You bet.  The real problem, apparently, is that the utilities and other big polluters involved in promoting HB2017 do not like any process they cannot control.

Arizona should not sit on its hands while the rest of the western states act to reduce emissions.  The legislature should step up and show leadership on reducing emissions and say no to the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (represents all of the big auto makers including General Motors and Toyota) and dealers, the Western States Petroleum Association (represents the big oil companies including Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Shell Oil, among others), and the utilities (Salt River Project, Arizona Public Service Company, Tucson Electric Power, and Southwest Gas).  The Homebuilders Association of Central Arizona and Peabody Coal are also supporting this effort to stall any action on limiting greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants.

People in the Phoenix area have suffered from poor air quality for several decades.  The Tucson area and other parts of the state have air quality challenges as well.  Most of our pollution comes from cars and trucks and, on top of that, about 40 percent of Arizona’s greenhouse gas emissions also comes from vehicles.  With our rapid growth and an increase in the vehicle miles travelled that outpaces that growth, our emissions could grow by as much as 200 percent from 1990 to 2020.  We cannot afford that and our children certainly cannot afford it. 

     
     

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