NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


June 15, 2004

A law in California requires a 29.2 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from cars (primarily carbon dioxide). Consumers will foot the bill for higher car prices, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).

Other effects:

  • Once the new law is in effect, it is expected to raise the cost of a car or truck by $328 in 2009.
  • As the regulations are phased-in, the extra costs will increase to an estimated $1,047 by 2015.

The California bill, however, faces constitutional challenges. Though labeled as an anti-emission initiative, it's ultimately a fuel economy issue -- which falls under the purview of federal law. Under the commerce clause, the federal government has the sole authority to regulate commerce between the states.

Without such authority, the states would have the freedom to set their own special rules for cars sold within their borders. That could require car manufacturers to build custom cars for each individual state -- a confusing and costly endeavor for an industry serving a national market, says IBD.

Source: Editorial, "CAFE California," Investor's Business Daily, June 11, 2004.


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