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Law to Cut Auto Emissions Is Just a First Step

July 27, 2002

Re "Davis Signs Bill to Cut Greenhouse Gases," July 23: Instead of spending more millions of dollars on misleading scare tactics, the auto manufacturers should do the responsible thing and spend those millions working with the Air Resources Board to come up with solutions that give us better vehicles to drive. Their disinformation campaign clearly did not work, since 81% of Californians favor reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, as the new law will require.

Further obstructionist measures will merely reinforce the public perception of American auto makers as being out of touch with reality and trailing behind foreign manufacturers in leading-edge automotive technology. The declining market share of the last few years is irrefutable evidence of that perception. It needs to be reversed, and the law just passed is a golden opportunity to make that happen.

Paul W. Rosenberger

Manhattan Beach

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Against the big money and protestations of the automobile manufacturers and other special-interest groups, Gov. Gray Davis did the right thing by signing AB 1493. We Californians should not have to wait for legislation. We should wise up and stop buying and driving monster gas-guzzling, polluting, view-blocking sport utility vehicles and other unnecessary trucks that are not only more unsafe than cars and contribute much more than their share of air pollution but also indirectly contribute more dollars to those countries that support, either tacitly or explicitly, terrorism against the United States.

We Californians have been had by the automobile manufacturers, which could make safer, cleaner SUVs, but don't; by many energy companies, which benefit financially from the increased consumption and demand for oil; and by many of our own elected leaders who, because they have such strong ties to automobile manufacturers and energy companies, won't act to protect us.

Even AB 1493 won't apply until 2009. That's another seven years of increasing carbon dioxide emissions from our vehicles. We should take responsibility for our own health and safety and buy smaller, safer and cleaner vehicles now.

Hank Schlinger

Toluca Lake

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To no one's surprise, Davis has signed a controversial bill requiring limits on greenhouse gases (mainly carbon dioxide) from automobiles beginning with the 2009 model year.

These gases are thought to contribute to global warming, although scientists are far from agreement on the existence and consequences of global warming.

If the government is serious about reducing carbon dioxide emissions it can begin now by reducing gridlock on our freeways. Stop-and-go driving consumes more fuel and generates more carbon dioxide than free-flowing traffic. As a first step, increase the capacity of existing freeways by opening carpool lanes to all automotive traffic. Second, add additional lanes, especially where jam-ups are frequent. Finally, divide existing transportation bureaucracies like the Orange County Transportation Authority and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority into highway departments that are dedicated strictly to roads and mass transit departments that are dedicated to bus and rail.

The new agencies can be funded according to the number of people they serve. Thus, if half the people drive their cars and half use mass transit, transportation funding can be divided 50-50.

Thomas A. Schenach

Huntington Beach

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I see our illustrious governor has signed the vehicle emissions fiasco bill. He says he is setting an example for the rest of the country. However, he already has with his electricity debacle and the $24-billion deficit.

Bill Rice

Canoga Park

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