Roundup: The WSJ, again — CARB rule a ‘scam’; A night on the Pacific in Cali.

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Updated Oct 25, 2015

“In other words, the regulations under which EPA and CARB are prosecuting truckers are based on dubious science. But when the cause is green virtue, such details don’t matter.” —Oct. 18 Wall Street Journal editorial (you’ll need a subscription to read the full piece, or access via Google search result at this link) pushing against CARB’s recent enforcement actions relative to its Statewide Truck & Bus Rule

CARB lead featuredThe Sunday opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal from which the above quote comes is a direct confrontation to the legitimacy of the California Air Resources Board’s Statewide Truck & Bus Rule. The piece details several issues the writer sees with not only with the sheer cost of the rule but the science on which it is based, which hinges on the health effects of diesel particulates. While claims from scientists around the world have been made about fine diesel particulates’ health effects for years, CARB’s development of the Truck and Bus Rule, which requires all electronically-calibrated diesel engine technology prior to the 2007 emissions-spec model year to be retrofitted with diesel particulate filters or retired, in the view of the WSJ editorial board simply didn’t justify itself with science in the development:

Notably, the epidemiological study that CARB used to justify its truck rule in 2008 had to be corrected after it was revealed that the report’s lead staff scientist had purchased his statistics doctorate for $1,000 from a diploma mill. CARB later revised its estimates of premature deaths prevented by the rule down to 3,500 from 9,400. … 

The full piece, worth a read, comes on the occasion of “results” — enforcement by not only CARB but the EPA. You’ll recall the recent announcement that a settlement had been reached with out-of-state, Virginia-based Estes Express, worth $390,000 to CARB and the Environment Protection Agency. EPA assisted in the prosecution, the editorial notes, given that CARB “doesn’t have authority to subpoena documents from out-of-state businesses,” noted the editorial.

So does the collaboration signal the future to come for flouting CARB’s rules? Your guess is as good as mine at this point, but maybe on a positive note, as a reader recently wrote me following coverage of the recent stories on the national picture relative to driver pay and small fleet business health: “When the WSJ starts writing about your industry, you might want to take notice.”

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The editorial is the most direct broadside against the Truck & Bus Rule I’ve seen in the mainstream, that’s sure. Maybe there’s hope for something good to come of it down the line.

California’s got its high points, too: Jim Wright’s layover up North
Reader Jim Wright uploaded the following coastal view from Crescent City in Northern California, where he’d just spent what had be some kind of layover. As he wrote in the Reader Rigs gallery, “Heading out after spending the night next to the Pacific Ocean.” Here’s hoping the run was as nice as the stop.


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