New car prices headed up


You can expect to pay an extra $1,000 for your next car. Thank the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) for adopting California air quality standards for all new vehicles starting in 2014.

According to a New York Times article published April 1, 2010, complying with the standards will add another $1,000 to the price of new cars, but PBS reports, industry experts say the regulation will add about $3,000 to up-front cost of the average car or truck. The regulation effectively increases mileage standards beyond federal guidelines.

DNREC also has declared carbon dioxide a pollutant following a controversial decision by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Since you emit carbon dioxide every time you exhale you are a polluter. In more practical terms, any major facility expansion or construction plan will now need a special permit making it less likely any business will expand or locate in Delaware.

Texas has stated flatly they will not participate in the EPA program requiring permits for carbon dioxide emissions. The EPA responded they will take over the writing of permits in Texas setting up a classic states’ rights battle. Twelve other states have delayed action.

But Delaware can’t seem to wait to follow whoever has the most radical ideas. California’s radical environmental stands have resulted in businesses leaving the state in droves. Not exactly the role model we should be following. Since the EPA ruling is being challenged, it seems premature for Delaware to take any action.

The US House of Representatives will challenge the rule but, as of now, the ultimate decision on new regulations rests with EPA Administrator, Lisa Jackson, who can decide on the thinnest of evidence. Proposed legislation would require any regulation with a cost to the economy over $100 million be brought back before Congress for a vote.

In Delaware the laws says DNREC can adopt any regulation after a public hearing. They can ignore any testimony in the hearing. The Delaware legislature needs to add a cost cap to our regulations as well. Alternative legislation would simply overturn this one decision at either the state or national level.