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January 26th, 2009 - 12:49 pm

On the Obama/Auto post down below, regular reader Robert Jacoby comments:

Yes, by all means let us have 50 different automobile standards. That’ll keep the number of cars made real low & real expensive, so that the masses will no longer have cars. Only our betters will have them.

I’m afraid Robert has misunderstood what’s going on here.

California — combined with the states which have laws in place to mimic California’s emissions regulations — accounts for half or more of all cars sold in the United States. What Obama’s regulations are meant to do is allow the tail to wag the dog, not to have 50 different tails. Let me explain.

California’s laws are so nutty, they might not even get passed by our current Congress. They’d certainly have a tough time in the Senate. So, by letting California set its own standards, Obama and Congress are essentially allowing the nuttiest state assembly in the entire Union to set the standards the entire nation will end up using.

No automaker is going to produce two entirely different lines of cars for California and its legal dependencies, and the rest of the nation. So buyers in Maine and Alabama and North Dakota will be buying cars designed to appeal to greenhouse emissions fanatics in Hollywood and their beneficiaries in Sacramento. What the Greenies can’t accomplish in Washington, they’ll certainly get away with in California, and the whole country will get stuck with the results.

Welcome to Hope! and Change! — a place where Federalism has been turned on its ear to let local pols in California decide what’s best for everyone, everywhere.

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