When the cost of milk and bread goes up – Call CARB

Russ Steele

Every thing that we buy in the foothills is brought in by truck. The cost of that transportation is included in the cost of the products on our store shelves. Transportation companies do every thing they can to keep the cost of transportation down to stay competitive. But,  we can not say of the same of government agencies like the California Air Resources Board. Here is an example of CARB out of control, faking the data to save the planet.

The details are in a story by Michael Shaw, in the Capital Weekly: When writing regulations, make sure to consider all pertinent data.

Case in point is the Greenhouse Reduction Measure for Heavy-Duty Vehicles in the final steps with the California Air Resources Board (CARB). This regulation takes a great voluntary program, known as SmartWay, by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to promote best practices for heavy duty vehicle fuel efficiency and turns it into a $10.4 billion mandate. However, CARB’s estimate claims a net savings of more than $3 billion from greater fuel efficiency.

One element of the regulation requires the addition of aerodynamic ‘skirts’ between the axles of the trailer. CARB says that What company would not adopt a technology that could save so much in fuel costs, mandate or not?

Unfortunately, a peak behind the curtain of CARB’s miraculous savings shows a different story. CARB guesses that trucks travel at speeds in excess of the legal limit a least 84 percent of the time they are on the road. Anyone who has driven on California roads especially in the Los Angeles or San Francisco Bay areas knows how often traffic flows at the speed limit and trucks are limited to 55 miles per hour.

 Where did CARB get the 84 percent number? Where is the data that CARB used to calculate this fantastic number? Those are questions the California Trucking Association posed to Board members in two separate letters. The answers equate to “we are that going to tell you”. In fact, CARB’s regulatory filings have gone as far to say that no such data exists.

We offered to provide data from some of our members (yes, data does exist), but that offer was ignored as well. Why let actual data get in the way of a bad regulation. For every 10 percent that CARB’s 84 percent estimate is off, the ‘savings’ drops $1.75 billion, so that $3 billion in savings disappears very quickly.

 Some how it is OK for CARB to fake their data to save the planet. We have seen CARB fake the data in calculating foothill ozone flow here and here.  Now we are see the same mis-management and corruption in regulating heavy-duty vehicles. We are going to pay the bill for this fraud when the price of milk and bread goes up at the grocery story, and for that matter everything we buy in the foothills.

Why do our political leaders allow this to happen? Why do we allow our political leaders a pass in this issue?  I am going to see Assemblyman Dan Logue and State Senator Doug LaMalfa this afternoon at the GOP Picnic and will bring this CARB fraud to their attention.

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Author: Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.

4 thoughts on “When the cost of milk and bread goes up – Call CARB”

  1. Russ,
    Creating a strong local economy creates more control and power over our own futures in Nevada County.
    Think Local First would be something you might be interested in.

    http://www.localfirstfoothills.org/about/frequently-asked-questions/

    Isn’t Local First protectionist? Not at all. Local First is entirely about the free choices of consumers, businesses, and government purchasing agents. No one is being forced to buy local, and no tariffs or other burdens are being placed on non-local goods. Some economists believe – incorrectly – that Local First must mean putting up trade barriers or inducing consumers to buy more expensive goods and services, which, as noted above, it doesn’t. They also forget that economic models assume all consumers have perfect information. One way of looking at Local First campaigns is that they aim to give consumers better information – about the availability of attractive local goods and services, and about the significant benefits of buying local. Paradoxically, Local First turns out to be the best way to develop prosperous links to the global economy. Export-led development usually means supporting a small number of globally competitive niches within a global economy. If one of these industries collapses – like automobiles in Detroit or steel in Youngstown – the entire local economy collapses as well, especially its export sectors. The work of Jane Jacobs and others has shown that import-replacing development, which underlies buy-local initiatives, tends to nurture hundreds of existing locally owned businesses, some of which will then become strong exporters. Development led by import replacement rather than export promotion diversifies, stabilizes, and strengthens the local economy.

  2. Interesting. We came back from a trip and found our refrigerator on the blink and need a replacement. We did our research, chose the model that would fit in our kitchen space, had the features we wanted and then stared calling local dealers. Our choice would have to be ordered and it would not be available for 4-6 weeks. We did not want to live out of a cooler chest for 4-6 weeks and went to Roseville and found what we needed, bought it and it was delivered the next week. Had we not wasted a day looking for one local, it would have been delivered the next day. The Roseville story only delivers once a week to Grass Valley, but they are planning to expand the delivery to twice a week due to the growing business volume. The customer service at this story was extraordinary. Some of the customer service we received over the phone could be improved. Think Local First would do us all a great service by conducting some customer service programs for members. We all remember extraordinary customer service and often return for more, even thought the price might be a little higher.

    1. Russ,
      Put this in the context of your post and you are cutting your nose off to spite your face. We better start creating a demand from local business’s or we will be hurting when the energy costs get to expensive to make trips to Roseville to do our shopping.

  3. I mentioned this post to both Dan Logue and Doug LaMalfa at the Republican Picnic. Greg Marks took notes for Dan, and he said he would look in to the issue. Doug said he would check it out. We have to keep bringing CARB’s excesses to our legislators attention. They lead busy lives and cannot be monitoring every thing, so it is up to citizens to monitor CARB and alert our political representatives when it happens. Do you part!

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