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By Anonymous Mike, pseudonymously.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Depends on the Windmill

Remember a few years ago when Governor Napolitano was pounding on every initiative dealing with illegal immigration coming out of the Legislature? Remember he justification? That immigration was a federal issue?

So what's with the news that the Governor's Regulatory Review Council has adopted tougher tailpipe standards in order to reduce greenhouse gases and reduce the threat of global warming?

The standards OK'd by the Governor's Regulatory Review Council would be phased-in, requiring a fleetwide 30 percent reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions from new cars and trucks by 2016. It was a big win for Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano, environmental groups and others pushing for Arizona to take tangible steps to head off global warming before it brings higher temperatures, reduced streamflows and worsening drought conditions to the desert Southwest.

Now it's one thing if you want to get an environmentally friendly car because you are responsible individual. It's another thing to mandate cleaner cars because say, the local air stinks, and it may be nice to make your local community doesn't have air like brown goop. It's another thing to mandate cleaner cars in your little corner of the world to combat a perceived global problem because while the effect may be akin to spitting in the world, the cost of the spitting is quite high.

...estimates that the new standards would increase the price of a new car or truck by more than $1,000. Vehicle manufacturers peg that figure at closer to $6,000.

Just so you know what the goal is

Tougher emissions standards are central to Napolitano's push to reduce the state's greenhouse-gas emissions to 2000 levels by 2020, and 50 percent below 2000 levels by 2040.

This reminds me of those t-shirts that are meant to irk vegetarians "For every animal you don't eat, I'll eat three!" Arizona could cut its greenhouse-gas emission to zero and it wouldn't make a dent in any global warming given how small our economy is in relation to the carbon-producing monsters in Asia. For every extra-expensive hybrid you buy in Tempe, there's another coal-powered plant coming online somewhere China.

Thinking globally and acting locally makes a good bumper sticker but lousy regulatory policy.