Proposed CA Bill Threatens Pre-1976 Cars

caseal.gifCalifornia State Senator Dean Florez has proposed a new bill that, if passed, will repeal the emissions exemption on pre-1976 cars in eight California counties. This means your classic car would have to pass California’s emissions test for the life of the vehicle.

Ok, so you might not live in those counties, or even in California, but the state is known for having the toughest environmental protection laws in the nation. Once all the research and debate has been done and the bill passed, it could be easily adopted statewide. Other states have also been known to piggyback on California’s laws. It’s happened before.

For the record, we here at JNC care very much about Mother Earth. It’s the only planet we got, and we should try not to wreck it. We do our best to recycle and conserve, but this bill is ridiculous. Pre-’76 cars, as owned by classic car collectors, comprise so little of the actual pollution going up into the atmosphere that it’s essentially nil. There are far greater polluters out there. For example, poorly designed, non-green architecture accounts for nearly 40% of greenhouse gases. Cow farts make up another quarter. Why penalize cars that, for the most part, don’t even see use on a daily basis?

SEMA believes lawmakers are scapegoating classics. In addition to putting on a big car show ever year, the Specialty Equipment Marketers Association also advocates for car enthusiasts on issues such as this. See their news release and the eight affected counties after the jump.

OLD CAR EMISSIONS EXEMPTION THREATENED IN EIGHT CALIFORNIA COUNTIES

Legislation (S.B. 1549) has been introduced in the California State Senate by Senator Dean Florez (senator.florez@sen.ca.gov) to repeal the state’s current emissions test exemption for pre-1976 vehicles registered by new owners in the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District. The District includes eight counties in California’s Central Valley: San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare and the valley portion of Kern. Under the bill, after Jan. 1, 2009, new owners seeking to register a pre-1976 vehicle in these eight counties would be subject to emissions tests for the life of the vehicle. S.B. 1549 is scheduled to be considered by the California Senate Transportation and Housing Committee on April 1, 2008.

We Urge You to Call, E-Mail or Fax Senator Florez and Members of the Senate Transportation Committee (List Attached) Immediately to Oppose S.B. 1549

  • Existing law in California exempts all pre-1976 vehicles from emissions testing.
  • California’s current emissions testing exemption recognizes the minimal impact of pre-1976 motor vehicles on emissions and air quality.
  • Pre-1976 vehicles constitute a small and shrinking portion of the overall vehicle population in California and are a poor source from which to look for further emissions reductions.
  • Pre-1976 antique and classic vehicles are overwhelmingly well-maintained.
  • Repeal of the exemption in the San Joaquin Valley could lead the Legislature to target other areas in the state in the future.
  • Legislators and regulators are again feeling the heat from a failed effort to meet air quality goals and are looking for a convenient scapegoat. The old car hobby should not carry the burden of their mistakes, as it has in previous amendments to the old car exemption!

Please phone, fax or e-mail Senator Florez to express your opposition to S.B. 1549. Senator Florez can be reached at:

E-Mail: Senator.Florez@sen.ca.gov
Phone: (916) 651-4016
Fax: (916) 327-5989

Please phone, fax or e-mail members of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee to express your opposition to S.B. 1549

California Senate Transportation & Housing Committee

(Click here to email all Committee members)

Senator Alan Lowenthal – Chair
Phone: 916/651-4027
Fax: 916/327-9113
Email: Senator.Lowenthal@sen.ca.gov

Senator Tom McClintock
Phone: 916/651-4019
Fax: 916/324-7544
Email: senator.mcclintock@sen.ca.gov

Senator Roy Ashburn
Phone: 916/651-4018
Fax: 916/322-3304
Email: senator.ashburn@sen.ca.gov

Senator Gilbert Cedillo
Phone: 916/651-4022
Fax: 916/327-8817
Email: senator.cedillo@sen.ca.gov

Senator Ellen Corbett
Phone: 916/651-4010
Fax: 916/327-2433
Email: senator.corbett@sen.ca.gov

Senator Bob Dutton
Phone: 916/651-4031
Fax: 916/327-2272
Email: senator.dutton@sen.ca.gov

Senator Tom Harman
Phone: 916/651-4035
Fax: 916/445-9263
Email: senator.harman@sen.ca.gov

Senator Christine Kehoe
Phone: 916/651-4039
Fax: 916/327-2188
Email: senator.kehoe@sen.ca.gov

Senator Jenny Oropeza
Phone: 916/651-4028
Fax: 916/323-6056
Email: senator.oropeza@sen.ca.gov

Senator Joe Simitian
Phone: 916/651-4011
Fax: 916/323-4529
Email: senator.simitian@sen.ca.gov

Senator Tom Torlakson
Phone: 916/651-4007
Fax: 916/445-2527
Email: senator.torlakson@sen.ca.gov

Senator Leland Yee
Phone: 916/651-4008
Fax: 916/327-2186
Email: senator.yee@sen.ca.gov
Please e-mail a copy of your letters to Steve McDonald at stevem@sema.org

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7 Responses to Proposed CA Bill Threatens Pre-1976 Cars

  1. John said:

    This is not good at all. If this passes, and I move back to Fresno, things are gonna suck.

  2. Burabuda said:

    Mister Dean Florez is just another in a long line of lip-service politicians who have been told this will look good on their record.

    Even if this doesn’t go anywhere, the record will show that Mister Dean was tough on Smog.

    Google Mister Dean and you’ll see how he supported making easy for Indian casinos to increase their tables, aka profits.

    He’s a real gem, that Mister Dean.

  3. Jeremy said:

    This is just another example of how our elected officials are wasting our hard earned
    tax payers money…

  4. TSiSS350 said:

    Sending letter tonight! I live in Mass which is one of the toughest emisions states after Cali, and is known for adopting California standards!

  5. RAYRAY said:

    Good Afternoon Dean Florez,

    Where are you getting your information from regarding smog pollution of 1976 and below automobiles from ? I for one do not own one, but this proposed bill has no real legitimacy in terms of significant pollution created by pre-1976 automobiles. Can you please provide me of statistical data on what ‘moved’ you to propose this bill? I’ll even consider empirical date as well.

    If anything, this bill becomes counterproductive on other important and obvious matters that should be focused on. They include, but no limited to subprime crises, poverty, and unemployment. Of course, the environment truly fits the slate of important issues, but are you serious about this pre-1976 smog bill? Ask yourself: how many of these pre-1976 automobiles do you even personally see on a day-to-day basis? I for one don’t see one everyday, let alone once a week.

    Please, spare us all of this bill which uses classic car owners as scapegoat for ‘improved air quality’ and focus your energy on matters that really do count for the society as a whole, and not necessarily for a ‘personal agenda;’ reducing the continual subprime hits by initiating consumer mortgage education and protection from devious mortgage lenders, a graduated progressive tax system, and crime and poverty.

    And as stated again before, please don’t propose a bill that really won’t effect nor benefit the California society as a whole. Please focus on more challenging areas of need. I can’t stand to see anymore of my tax dollars going into a proposed bill that won’t make any significant change to society, and in reality, leaves California in its same state with no real [and even marginal] improvements.

    * California’s current emissions testing exemption recognizes the minimal impact of pre-1976 motor vehicles on emissions and air quality.
    * Pre-1976 vehicles constitute a small and shrinking portion of the overall vehicle population in California and are a poor source from which to look for further emissions reductions.
    * Legislators and regulators are again feeling the heat from a failed effort to meet air quality goals and are looking for a convenient scapegoat. The old car hobby should not carry the burden of their mistakes, as it has in previous amendments to the old car exemption!
    * Pre-1976 antique and classic vehicles are overwhelmingly well-maintained.

    Please focus on poverty and crime reduction, continual improvements on the education system, and stringent subprime lender policing. I know these are extremely difficult areas, but we have the benefit of the doubt that you’ll take on these much more challenging areas in dire need of attention. Using pre-1976 owners to reduce smog pollution is too easy.

    Have a great and wonderful day Dean Florez.

    Loyola Marymount University

  6. Bobby Paisano said:

    Thats straight up wack, building and restoring old cars is a working-class tradition (encompassing many cultures here in Cali). I can’t speak for those who are more well to do, but for those of us who can’t wait till the work week is over just to touch the bear metal of our classic, this law would ruin a dream that focuses so much on patience, blue-collar craftsmanship, and pride…

  7. Ratdat said:

    California may well be known for having the toughest environmental policies going but you can still buy SUV’s there that do about 8mpg, right? The administration there is just like the UK government… being seen to do the right thing without actually doing it.