The state of California has long been a pioneer of emissions control regulation. In 2002, California made a huge step in initiating regulations for climate change mitigation with the passing of AB 1493 or Pavley Law which aims to address the issue of climate by controlling the tailpipe GHG emissions as opposed to the federal approach to regulating the fuel economy. The regulations were developed over the next two years and were scheduled to be effective on the 2009 new models. According to the California Air Resources Board, the full implementation of Pavley Law was estimated to account for a 30% GHG reduction by 2016 with the regulation capping tailpipe emissions at 323 CO2 Eqg/mile by 2009 and 205 CO2 Eqg/mile by 2016. On the other hand, a paramount 87,700 mt of CO2-equivalent savings would be mitigated per day by 2020 (Short).
Though the change will benefit most of California and the United States, car manufacturers are ailing due to the consequences that the change will be bringing for the firm. The adjustments that car manufacturers, including SUVs, have to make changes in their fleet composition, in the fuel economy of individual models and in total fleet size that have the underlying changes in emissions (Goulder, Jacobsen, and Van Benthem). Since the changes are not only boxed in California, car declines are expected to occur as cost-effective measures in adhering states while car productions in non-adhering states is expected to rise.
With the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of SUVs, it post critical risks to the welfare of the population of California since the state accounts for 13% of the nation’s auto market. With the law in effect, negative reactions from the automobile industry are expected to rise together with resistances and threats in both sides. However, although the automobile industry will have to suffer costs in order to make the necessary adjustments, it is highly dominated and overshadowed by the benefits Pavley provides in terms of health and climate change mitigation.
Short, David. California’s Pavley Law on Vehicle Emissions and State Climate Initiatives:
Shifting the Gears of Environmental Federalism from the Bottom Up? . MA thesis.
Goulder, Lawrence H., Mark R. Jacobsen, and Arthur A. Van Benthem. "Impacts of state-level
limits on greenhouse gases per mile in the presence of national CAFE standards." (2009).