Roger L. Simon

Terminate This! Schwarzenegger Smashes Auto Pollution

Bravo for Arnold! Once again California’s governor terminates ideology – the tired and tiresome liberal/conservative dichotomy – and makes the pragmatic choice. He was among the backers of what the Associated Press is calling the “world’s toughest smog rules,” just adopted by Calif. regulators:

Among those supporting the regulations was Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s environmental protection secretary, Terry Tamminen, who said Friday he and Schwarzenegger believe California should do its part to reduce pollution. He strongly urged the board to adopt the proposals.

That’s my governor – socially liberal, intelligently pro-environment, fiscally conservative and a foreign policy hawk to protect all of the above. Right now I couldn’t be more pleased he was the first Republican to get my vote!

UPDATE: I noticed someone on here getting hot under the collar that this new legislation is a plot against the poor. Actually some of the most environmentally friendly cars are rather inexpensive and provide tax rebates as well. Only recently are upmarket cars like Lexus going hybrid.

More importantly, an argument can be made that some environmental legislation (notice the some, please) is good for the market and actually stimulates business by forcing innovation. None of this is simple, but anyone who has lived in Los Angeles as long as I have knows that this is not the same city as it was in 1970. You can even see the hills now and your eyes don’t tear all summer. Sometimes you can even breath. And the primary reason for this is environmental legislation, much of which, ironically, was initiated by the Nixon administration.

UNA COSA MAS: Some commenters one here seem to assume that because I favor strong emission controls on automobiles, I oppose nuclear power. Not true. I strongly support nuclear power and regard the opposition to it as, mostly, folklore.

NOTABLE: I call your attention to the interesting comments of John Pearley Huffman below who writes for Car & Driver.