A recent editorial in the New York Times referred to the “cornucopia of hybrid and electric vehicles “ at the north American international Auto Show and the acknowledgement of the urgent need to deliver fuel efficient cars and trucks. It is of course timely as expensive gas will most surely return and environmental pressures will similarly increase. (The editorial later questioned whether electric cars will be affordable)
We heard today, January 26 the Obama administration will allow states to tighten standards for auto emissions. In 2002 California adopted the first state law requiring auto manufacturers to begin reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat trapping gasses. In the past it had routinely received permission from the Environmental Protection Agency to set tougher standards than the rest of the country.
However, in 2007 the E.P.A. rejected a California application to enact tougher standards (13 other states were part of the application.)The Obama administration is now set to reverse that denial. California and the 17 other states make up more than 50% of the country’s automobile market.
Which brings me to AJC’s “Project New Car” which is aimed at state and, local governments and municipalities’ nation –wide. This initiative calls for AJC chapters to advocate their state and local governments purchase a new (hybrid or electric) kind of car and light truck in the future.
Which brings me to electric cars. The nine counties in the Bay Area (including of course the three biggest cities of San Francisco, San José and Oakland) have entered into an agreement with Shai Agassi’s company “Better Place” whereby Better Place would invest $1 billion in a network of electric vehicle charging stations to cover the Bay Area by 2012. In return for Better Places” investment the nine counties will collectively create cohesive regulations for electric cars and offer tax breaks.
Energy security demands a loosening of our dependence on imported oil and the beginning of a new era is taking shape right here in the Bay Area!!