California 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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:
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
Senator Tom McClintock
Senator Roy Ashburn
Senator Gilbert Cedillo
Senator Ellen Corbett
Senator Bob Dutton
Senator Tom Harman
Senator Christine Kehoe
Senator Jenny Oropeza
Senator Joe Simitian
Senator Tom Torlakson