Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Illinois could surrender its sovereignty to California

How would you like it if your state surrendered its sovereignty to another state, say, California?

It could happen in Illinois.

HB 3424 could force Illinoisans to follow the stricter California standards regarding vehicle emissions, rather than the ones stipulated in the federal The 2007 Energy Bill, highlights of which are listed below:

The law, according to the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, will produce dramatic results by 2020:

  • Raises mileage standards to 35 MPG, a 40% increase;

  • Reduces carbon dioxide (CO2) from autos by 30%;

  • Avoids 206 million metric tons of greenhouse gases annually;

  • Lowers oil consumption by 1.1 million barrels a day;

  • Saves 18 billion gallons of gasoline per year; and

  • Requires 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels annually.

  • This afternoon I participated in a teleconference with Charles Territo of the Alliance. Where does California fit in? Part of that bill allows states choose the California standards. I live in Illinois, I do not, nor can I, vote in California elections. If HB 3424 becomes law here, California legislators and bureaucrats will be deciding not just what our automobile emission standards should, but if they change those standards, Illinois will have to follow suit.

    This will limit the types of vehicles that can be purchased in Illinois. For instance, late last year, Chrysler began selling a diesel version Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo. It cannot be sold in California and eight other states. Illinois could be next. For you scofflaws out there who think they can travel to Indiana to buy one, registering it with the Illinois Secretary of State's office won't be possible--HB 3424 won't allow it.

    Does the auto industry care about clean air? During the teleconference, Territo said, "the auto manufacturers 'gets it.'"

    More from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers site:

  • America needs a more CO2-efficient society, and a new fleet of CO2-efficient autos will be dominating the marketplace.

  • Automakers are addressing climate change through energy bill provisions that will result in a 30% reduction in CO2 from autos by 2020.

  • By reducing CO2 by 30%, automakers will lead all industries in setting a clear path to meeting the recent United Nations Bali Climate Change Summit’s goal of a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050.

  • And some more:

    There are sound reasons for federal law in all 50 states.
  • Federal law does not allow states to set their own vehicle safety laws. One state cannot decide to have more airbags in autos, for example.

  • Federal law does not allow states to set their own food labeling laws or packaging laws because such state laws would create marketplace chaos.

  • Illinois laws for Illinoisans. One emissions law for all Americans. 'Nuff said.

    One of the co-sponsors of HB 3424 is my state representative, Lou Lang. I'll be e-mailing Lang this post.

    And yes, I care about the environment.

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