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California Diesel Issue

houdini1houdini1 Kansas City areaPosts: 6,805
Is now the least of car mfg. worries. Today the CA attorney general sued the six top car makers because they have done billions of dollars of damage to the environment of CA. just by mfg. gasoline engines. Just shows you the mind set in liberal CA. What are they thinking?

2013 LX 570 2010 LS 460

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Comments

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 30,479
    Here is the Reuters article:

    Calif. sues carmakers over greenhouse gases
    Ford, GM and Toyota among six automakers charged in groundbreaking suit that contends companies cost state millions because of vehicle emissions.
    September 20 2006: 4:13 PM EDT
    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) -- California sued six of the world's largest automakers over global warming Wednesday, charging that greenhouse gases from their vehicles have caused billions of dollars in damages.
    The lawsuit is the first of its kind to seek to hold manufacturers liable for the damages caused by their vehicles' emissions, state Attorney General Bill Lockyer said.
    It also comes less than a month after California lawmakers adopted the nation's first global warming law mandating a cut in greenhouse gas emissions.
    An automaker trade group called the global warming move a "nuisance suit." Car manufacturers have also held up California state rules to force cuts in tailpipe emissions from cars and trucks with legal action of their own.
    The lawsuit names General Motors Corp. (up $0.32 to $31.72, Charts), Ford Motor Co. (up $0.11 to $7.77, Charts), Toyota Motor Corp. (up $0.91 to $107.27, Charts), the Chrysler Motors Corp. U.S. arm of Germany's DaimlerChrysler AG (up $0.61 to $49.90, Charts) and the North American units of Japan's Honda Motor Co. (up $0.40 to $32.95, Charts) and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (up $0.16 to $22.52, Charts).
    "[California] just passed a new law to cut global warming emissions by 25 percent and that's a good start and this lawsuit is a good next step," said Dan Becker, director of the Sierra Club's Global Warming Program.
    Lockyer told Reuters he would seek "tens or hundreds of millions of dollars" from the automakers in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Northern California.
    The lawsuit seeks monetary damages for past and ongoing contributions to global warming and asks that the companies be held liable for future monetary damages to California.
    It noted that California is spending millions to deal with reduced snowpack, beach erosion, ozone pollution and the impact on endangered animals and fish.
    "The injuries have caused the people to suffer billions of dollars in damages, including millions of dollars of funds expended to determine the extent, location and nature of future harm and to prepare for and mitigate those harms, and billions of dollars of current harm to the value of flood control infrastructure and natural resources," it said.
    Ford deferred comment to the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which called the complaint a "nuisance suit" similar to one a New York court dismissed.
    "Automakers will need time to review this legal complaint, however, a similar nuisance suit that was brought by attorneys-general against utilities was dismissed by a federal court in New York," the industry group said in a statement.
    Toyota declined to comment as the company evaluates the lawsuit.
    The other automakers had no immediate comment. David Cole, chairman of the Center for Automotive Research, a nonprofit organization that provides public research and forecasts, said it would be tough for the industry to meet demands from some critics immediately.
    Adoption of diesel engine emissions technology or gasoline-electric hybrids comes at great cost, and improving gas mileage also likely means smaller lighter vehicles, trade-offs that are not attractive to consumers, he added.
    "These are not free technologies, they are very expensive," Cole said. "Most people are price sensitive."
    In the complaint, Lockyer charges that vehicle emissions have contributed significantly to global warming and have harmed the resources, infrastructure and environmental health of the most populous state in the United States.
    Lockyer - a Democratic candidate for state treasurer in the November election - said the lawsuit states that under federal and state common law the automakers have created a public nuisance by producing "millions of vehicles that collectively emit massive quantities of carbon dioxide."
    Carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases have been linked to global warming.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 30,479
    They could cut GHG by about 30% just switching to diesel cars. We should sue CARB for outlawing cars that emit less CO2. Seems they should be included in the suit. It is all a big waste of tax payers money. It is feeding the lawyers that are out of office.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    What this suit will hopefully do is this:

    FORCE carmakers to make all V6 and smaller cars as PZEV cars !!!

    All it costs is between $200 and $500 per car, depending on which study you believe, and then ALL passenger vehicles can be MUCH MUCH cleaner.

    I'm glad they are doing it. If carmakers are stubborn and so fixated on their bottom line that they cannot willingly build cleaner cars, then the Government SHOULD force them to, in the name of the People.
  • FORCE carmakers to make all V6 and smaller cars as PZEV cars !!!

    You miss the point. The lawsuit is carbon dioxide gas emission, not the PZEV components.

    So the issue is fuel economy.

    That is where diesel can really help.

    John
  • alp8alp8 Posts: 656
    You miss the point. The lawsuit is carbon dioxide gas emission, not the PZEV components.

    So the issue is fuel economy.


    well, that's the car company's argument

    this is a developing area of law, and it will be interesting to see how the courts rule. It really isn't an area where lay people have all that much to add, as it involves issues of statutory interpretation, the Constitution, federal jurisdiction, state power, etc. etc.

    Being "liberal" or whether the lawsuit is "stupid" is completely irrelevant.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 17,319
    Funny how the lawsuit left out the bigger diesel producers, such as VW....

    To me this is indeed bullish for used diesel in CA. At points forward, say 1-5 years hence this supply situation of diesels will cease to be an issue and one will be able to get diesel vehicles from both new markets and the un regulated used markets from the other 49 states where they did not have bans on new diesel car sales.
  • not really, as diesel cars do not even make a blip on the car population in California. Diesel cars are technically "not sold" in California.

    John
  • So the issue is fuel economy.


    well, that's the car company's argument


    No. It is the State's argument. The fact is that 100% clean combustion yields water and carbon dioxide gas. The lawsuit is about the carbon dioxide emission. The only way to reduce CO2 is to reduce fuel burning. Fuel economy can be regulated, but choice of cars and trips to the grocery store cannot.

    John
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 17,319
    Another is the burden of proof born by the plantiff will more than easily be beat by those very same diesel car producers. The attorney general does not want to endanger the MYTH that diesels are "dirtier" than unleaded regular. Also disengenuous how CA bans the very vehicles (diesel) that actually have LESS co2 emissions (like for like) than vehicles burning unleaded regular.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    "Funny how the lawsuit left out the bigger diesel producers, such as VW...."

    They just picked the top six global manufacturers by California sales volume. VW doesn't make that list. The big 6 they did sue account for like 85% of all California sales or something.

    I guess it was just a matter of time before this topic got its own thread, eh? Seems like a fractious one.

    This lawsuit is all about grandstanding in an election year to try and spur the federal government to take some measures to reduce American greenhouse gas emissions. I am sure that it will go nowhere, as a recent lawsuit against power plant companies for the same reasons lost out when it got to the highest levels.

    They have just passed legislation here in CA to reduce the state's greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels (roughly a 25% reduction at current levels) by 2020. This is in line with the Kyoto treaty that everyone else in the world but the Americans signed.

    They should have stuck to that legislation and the new CARB-recommended GHG emission standards for cars sold in California, and called it a day. This lawsuit will only produce harmful PR for the state, and bring out of the woodwork every California-resenter out there (and I am sure that more than a few will post here! :-P)

    It is dubious whether it will even help Schwarzenegger in his bid to get reelected, or help the Democrats to gain seats in the congress.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 30,479
    They have just passed legislation here in CA to reduce the state's greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels (roughly a 25% reduction at current levels) by 2020. This is in line with the Kyoto treaty that everyone else in the world but the Americans signed.

    It sounds good. However, Japan the country of origin, has not lived up to the Kyoto Protocol. Great Britain is a signatory on Kyoto. Here is their current position:

    LONDON -- Prime Minister Tony Blair has acknowledged that the fight to prevent global warming by ordering countries to cut greenhouse gases will never be won.
    "No country is going to cut its growth or consumption despite environmental fears," Mr. Blair said at a conference in New York organized by former President Bill Clinton.
    Mr. Blair's comments, which were made earlier this month but have yet to be reported in major news outlets, said that disputes over the Kyoto Protocol will "never be resolved."
    Kyoto?

    Bottom line: It is an election year scheme to get votes. I agree with you that it could backfire on the perpetrators of the lawsuit. With little hurricane action this year it has shot down some of the GHG nut cases. You know the ones that blamed Katrina on our not signing Kyoto.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    date for any sort of meaningful assessment of Kyoto compliance is going to be 2010. But of course, the horizon of this thing is much further out than that. It contains long-term goals out to 2050 or longer, and initial failure, if that occurs, is by no means a reason to just junk the whole thing. The goals remain important.

    The NY Times (or was it the SF Chron?) provided a study that showed sources of particulates in the air, and broke out car emissions at 13%. And that's in California, where almost none of the cars are diesels now! They say that the availability now of low-sulfur diesel allows them to put more effective particulate traps in the exhaust or something? My diesel knowledge is six months or more out of date, so someone can update me there.

    Then, supposedly the Mercedes BlueTec solves the NOx (smog-causing) emissions component of the diesel problem completely by urea injection into the exhaust, or something? That is the "AdBlue" liquid that must be added to the system periodically.

    I think they are very close to having diesels that will meet all of California's requirements. So before we tear all the Californian officials to shreds over their stubborn insistence on trying to lead the way to cleaner auto emissions, we might want to take stock of the fact that automakers are a good 90-95% of the way there, and 50-state clean diesels are just around the corner, most likely.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,857
    Honda Motor Co., Japan's third- largest carmaker, will introduce a diesel car that meets California's emission standards and a fuel cell-powered sports car within three years as it vies with Toyota Motor Corp. for buyers of fuel-efficient autos. Honda Diesel
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 30,479
    I think that is great. However I think VW and MB will argue who is the first with a 50 states diesel car. VW is displaying a new Jetta TDI 2.0L for 2008 MY that they claim will pass all EPA & CARB requirements. So I guess the race is on to see WHO gets the first diesel car to pass the CARB emissions. It will be on my short list of cars to buy and try.
  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    "The attorney general does not want to endanger the MYTH that diesels are "dirtier" than unleaded regular. Also disengenuous how CA bans the very vehicles (diesel) that actually have LESS co2 emissions (like for like) than vehicles burning unleaded regular."

    Diesel is better at CO2 emissions, but it's worse with NOx emissions (due to a higher operating temperature) and particulates.

    European policy is written around the belief that CO2 emissions are more important (because they're the majority of car emissions).

    CA policy is based on NOx molecules each being several times more harmful than one CO2 molecule, and on the direct effect that particulates have on our health. It's just a matter of different priorities.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 30,479
    CA policy is based on NOx molecules each being several times more harmful than one CO2 molecule

    If CA is concerned about NOx as would be surmised, why are they letting the military pollute more every year. As my earlier study revealed the very clean, by aircraft standards, Gulfstream is a gross NOx polluter. Spewing 500 times that of a VW TDI per mile. How much more a plane like the F16 or F18 fighter jet. They are in the air around the clock over San Diego. Now the new F35 puts out 4 times the amount of NOx of the F18. San Diego authorities are trying to get them to move their operation to the Yuma desert. They do not want to give up Miramar Naval Air station. So where is the tough CARB when they are really needed? They are just there to harass the little guy. The only thing they have really done in their existence is give us cars that use more gas to cut minute amounts of pollution. The EPA mandate on leaded gas was by and far the biggest reason we can breathe again in So CA. NOT CARB with their worthless mandates that do not address the REAL problems with trains, planes, ships and heavy equipment. Now this political lawsuit with the car companies that will just cost every one more and accomplish NOTHING.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    Gagrice, a knowledgeable and informed person such as yourself must SURELY be aware that neither CARB, nor the California state government, nor any other state's government, nor even the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S environmental laws apply to the military.

    It is no accident that every single military base that is removed from active status becomes a Superfund site, sometimes for many years, before it can be released to the surrounding community.

    But here's one for you: CARB recently ordered that diesel ships stop idling while in port or within a preset range of the shore, and that they reduce emissions in other ways as they approach the shore. And they have a whole SLEW of other regulations that will affect shipping in the next few years. It is not just the "little guy" that is being affected here.

    Oh, and NOx emissions are EXACTLY the ones that produce smog. Which, as you may know, has been something of a problem in southern California for some time now (and the central valley, and northern California...). :D

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 30,479
    The last I read was they are providing electricity hook ups at the docks so they do not sit there running their diesel generators. I believe that was pushed through by the San Pedro Port authority. They are still burning bunker oil at greater than 3000 PPM sulfur in many of the cargo ships.

    The military is an interesting situation. I have a friend that is heading up the committee to move our airport up to Miramar. Something that should have been done 50 years ago. Now we have all this Marine and Navy brass that use it as a reason to stay in San Diego. Can you guess why? That's right, weather and golf courses. Has nothing to do with military logistics. The desert would be a much better training ground for fighting in the deserts of Iraq etc. They hung onto it when the Navy pulled out by moving the Marines in.

    I really don't think the little bit of extra CARB has squeezed out trying to get cars to SULEV II is productive. The difference going from say LEV to SULEV is microscopic at best.

    I have a 1990 Mazda 626 that we keep as a loaner for our family members, when they have car troubles. It failed smog for this license. Well I was going to sell it to CA for junk at the going rate of $1000. I took it to another smog repair station and guess what. Nothing was wrong. My mistake was going to a smog station with a coupon that cost a few bucks less for the test. The first tester did not warm up the car properly. Second go around and it is as clean as it needs to be. It is a clear example of the scam that CA, CARB and the folks running the test stations have. It has little to do with clean exhaust and everything to do with generating revenue. CARB is just another useless bureaucracy.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 17,319
    I don't think you are ignoring one of my premises that the regulatory authorities made a huge mistake in the 1970's when they did NOT mandate the lower sulfur in diesel (among a few others) when they removed the lead from regular. I also do not think that you think that pollution (ie in so ca)is solely caused by the diesel portion of emissions. This of course means that your premise does not bear out in reality.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    2 million vehicle sales in California every year means the difference between LEV and SULEV is on the order of 1000s of tons of smog-forming emissions every year. Imagine how thousands of tons of smog-forming gases would look. Pretty big, huh?

    But of course, CARB does not mandate SULEV, it doesn't even mandate LEV, it just mandates that cars be under double-LEV.

    And I really think it's unfair to blame CARB for the fact that there are shoddy shops all around in all areas of automotive diagnostics and repair, which of course includes smog checks. Until the mid-90s there was a shop near me that would pass ANY car regardless of smog readings for an extra $50. Which of course is the reason the state had to introduce test-only stations.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 17,319
    In a perfect world you would be able to "segment" the total emissions environment. This is the real reason for me saying that it was a major mistake not to include more of the emissions environment i.e., ships, air traffic, etc etc. Indeed something as mundane as "concrete" manufacture gives off fully 10% of the WORLDS emissions.

    As for the CARB's franchising or licensing of "TEST ONLY" stations, the overwhelming majority are still privately run but franchised/licensed (not sure of the exact legal entities here) public concern.

    As so the so called regulatory agency, it can at almost any time and for any reason or no reason at all, conduct whatever test protocols at any shop under its jurisdiction and terminate those shops shown to conduct fraudelent tests. But like I said in past posts these tests at the levels noted are there mostly for revenue generation.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 30,479
    difference between LEV and SULEV is on the order of 1000s of tons of smog-forming emissions every year.

    I would question that difference, if my 1990 Mazda and Lexus still pass the test. I wish they did not use different measurements. On the smog test it is all rated in PPM. On the emissions standards it is in grams per mile. How do you know how clean your vehicle is in comparison to a new PZEV rated car? For example on NOx: Maximum allowed is 807 PPM. The average car puts out 237 PPM. My 1990 Mazda put out 12 PPM. That can be attributed to the new catalytic convertor put on 2 years ago when I failed that portion of the test. My question to all the scientific minds out there. How does 12 PPM of NOx relate to 0.02 grams per mile? That is the maximum for a SULEV II rated car.

    The most popular car in America is still ULEV II or Bin 5 rated. LEV & ULEV are identical for most pollutants. There are only a handful of cars that live up to the SULEV rating.

    Getting back to CARB. I believe they are a redundant agency. They are continually in lawsuits with the EPA over jurisdiction. If we are going to have states rights. Then do away with the EPA and have every state take care of their own pollution problems. With the current situation you have agencies mandating different standards for the automakers etc to manufacture to. This added cost is ultimately paid by us individuals. Maybe they need to have representatives from each state sit on the EPA board. I really do not see any big difference in the air since 1990. So is CARB making any significant difference?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    It's difficult for me to address the multiple points in your post, but one or two things are clearly being confused.

    If your 1990 car still passes smog today, it is because the law only requires that it pass relative to 1990 emissions standards. This has been the bugaboo for the state again and again. They have tried more than once to legislate older cars off the road for this exact reason, and every time the protest has been that it would be too punitive for poorer people who relied on their cars for work or whatever, since they generally have older cars. The compromise for years has been the program you made reference to, that buys the cars older than a specified year for $500-1000, and then dismantles them.

    The numbers you quote from your smog check paperwork are relative to other 1990 cars, and the 1990 standards. The limits are much lower today than 807, with a 237 average, for NOx.

    And check it out: .02 grams/mile x 2 million new car sales in California every year x 15,00 miles per year = 600,000,000 billion grams, or 600,000 kg of emissions per year from just the new fleet of SULEV cars! 600,000 kg is about 250,000 pounds, or 125 tons, just from these super-clean cars, if every car sold here were SULEV, which of course is far from the case. LEV-rated cars spew approximately five times as many emissions as this, so you can see that the difference between LEV and SULEV is easily 1000s of tons per year. And cars and especially trucks that don't meet the LEV standard can spew up to twice that amount and still be sold legally here.

    LEV and ULEV are separated by a 20% reduction, I believe, but I am going by memory there, so that bears checking out. And in case you didn't know, all the most popular cars sold in California are SULEV-rated, including Camry, Accord, and one I was checking out this weekend, the new Golf (Rabbit).

    "I really do not see any big difference in the air since 1990. So is CARB making any significant difference?"

    Well, it wasn't until the mid-90s that the LA basin including the Inland Empire was removed from the top-priority list at the EPA, which was triggering annual fines imposed by the feds that Californians were required to pay. That was a result of CARB's two-tier smog check system for extra-smoggy areas and aggressive new standards for the reduction of smog-forming emissions in new cars. It was achieved despite the doubling of the population in that region in 20 years (and tripling in the Inland Empire region). And guess what? Despite all of CARB's significant progress since its inception, the population growth in the central valley has outstripped the pace at which they can reduce emissions, with the result that we are on the cusp of having to pay those fines again, for the region in which Fresno, Bakersfield, and Stockton reside.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 30,479
    But like I said in past posts these tests at the levels noted are there mostly for revenue generation.

    No doubt in my mind of that. If I had paid the full $50 to start with the Mazda would have passed. Because I cut out the $19.75 coupon he just ran the test without proper warm up. The car was cold as It had set for a week or so, and the smog station is about a mile from the house. You can bet I will pursue this to get satisfaction. Most people just consider it part of the price gouge for living in CA.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 17,319
    To add to the carb discussion. How soon we forget about the CA MTBE debacle!!! CA Carb went toe to toe with the EPA (MTBE vs ethanol) The MTBE infrastructure was mandated (BILLIONS of dollars) THEN they "found out" the mitigation of MTBE was far more COSTLY and far more involved than even the mitigation of unleaded regular gasoline!! So all the infrastructure needed for the processing and intergration of MTBE was now TOTALLY unnecessary.

    So now if "cold turkey" effectely stops putting MTBE into the environment, they now mandated a mandatory MTBE elimiation period where MTBE is continued to be put into gasoline!!!! If you do not think this is absurd, I do NOT know what to tell you or your sense of what is absurd is way different than mine. So in effect cost overrun over cost overun just to STOP putting MTBE into the mix!!! And the period of so called lesser pollution turns out to be a term of adding MORE pollution!!

    Again when you combine this with the fact that all one had to do was to encourage bio diesel or in fact taken the sulfur out of diesel, the R and D monies generated by diesel use would have kept the emissions of diesel = to or better than the unleaded regular. Certainly a larger percentage of the passenger vehicle fleet would have been using 37% less fuel. Last I heard, lessening the dependancy on foreign oil is a "STATED" target or goal.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    You are being a little deceptive here:

    "And the period of so called lesser pollution turns out to be a term of adding MORE pollution!!"

    In fact, MTBE did its job just fine. However, they ignored warnings that it would pollute drinking water if it ever found its way to the ground, and of course, it did just that from gas stations in the South Lake Tahoe area. They cancelled it because of groundwater contamination, not because it didn't work.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 17,319
    My local "smog only" station charged 90 dollars. With a $10 off coupon $80. However for me at the time the car was 300 miles away and the local so ca SMOG ONLY station refused to do the test saying it could only be done where domiciled. Again, another deep absurdity. Are the machines and software different in so ca vs no ca? So now I had to go 600 miles to get a test done that I knew would pass with flying colors , READ TOTALLY UNNECESSARY. So I had to expend 40 gals of fuel and time and hassle......SMOG test cost? Interesting as I pointed this out and of course they said this expenditure of fuel was NOT their problem. !!?? VSIA/MASTER CARD) $200. when a $20. buck smog test would still be a waste, but would have done the job. Frustration and aggravation? PRICELESS !!!
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 17,319
    NO deceptive on my position at all!! Actually Californians have gotten a LOT screwed. Ignoring the (H2O) data is/was inexcuseable, deceptive and FRAUDULENT and resulted in BILLIONS of lost dollars. Easy to make it out to be no big deal when you are NOT paying for it. If you are ok with this situation and dont mind this idiocy, you are more than welcome to pay MY share!! :( :)

    It is almost poetic justice that diesels do not require any smog certification/test. :)
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 30,479
    all the most popular cars sold in California are SULEV-rated

    Most 4 cylinder cars are available as SULEV. I am not sure why the EPA site shows both ULEV & SULEV for CARB states. Unless the wannabe CARB states are not as picky as CA. The other thing is that we don't know the actual amount of each pollutant. The standard is for a maximum. As my tests show our 1990 Mazda is less than 2% of the allowable NOx. I think we are chasing rainbows with SULEV and PZEV cars. For one thing has any maker gotten a 6 cylinder to SULEV II ratings? The VW 5 cylinder is PZEV. Maybe that is why they have gotten good marks for their cars.

    Another thing to remember. A car with a 1 rating now was a 4 rated car in 2004.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 17,319
    "Another thing to remember. A car with a 1 rating now was a 4 rated car in 2004"

    10 to 15 years hence despite the "tightening" of the standards I predict the air quality will be no better/worse for those standards.
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