By Caroline Fuller
CARB Adopts Proposed Amendments to Warranty Regulations
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has passed proposed regulatory changes to current California emission warranty regulations. The amendments were proposed by CARB staff members and highly opposed by many independent repairers and the Automotive Service Association.
In December 2006, CARB held a public hearing in Bakersfield, Calif., to consider the amendments to California's emission warranty information reporting and recall regulations and emission test procedures. Several witnesses testified at the public hearing expressing concern that any expansion of the vehicle warranty status would negatively impact independent repairers in the state of California.
Originally adopted in 1988, CARB's warranty and recall regulations for motor vehicles serve to "detect systemic defects in emission control systems and/or components," according to CARB.
Among the amendments that will affect the warranty regulations in the state of California are the proof required to demonstrate violations of Air Resource Board's (ARB) emission standards or test procedures, the corrective actions available to ARB to address the violations, and the way emissions warranty information is reported to ARB.
The proposed and adopted amendments will apply to vehicles model year 2010 and later.
Little Movement in Discussions over Small Business Tax Cuts
Members of both the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee and the U.S. Senate Finance Committee met to discuss the common issue of small business tax cuts. Particularly, the tax writers met to try and resolve the block that the tax cuts are creating for a minimum wage increase. Present at the meeting were Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee; Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the Senate Finance Committee; and Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, ranking member of the Senate. The meeting between the two chambers was not specifically to discuss the small business issue but more a routine meeting to discuss common issues that fall under the jurisdiction of both committees.
U.S. Supreme Court Rules EPA Violated Clean Air Act
The United States Supreme Court ruled by a vote of 5-4 that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) violated the Clean Air Act by failing to properly regulate new vehicles emissions standards. Pollutants from these emissions are said by scientists to contribute to global warming. The Bush Administration is blamed for failing to include these vehicle emission standards under the Clean Air Act. The 5-4 ruling is seen as a triumph for environmentalists that are outspoken in the national debate over climate change.
Since the Fall 2006 elections, Congress has been very outspoken in the global warming debate. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., formed a special committee to focus on energy and the environment. Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is also a key proponent in the fight over global warming. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., is chairwoman of the Environment and Public Works Committee and plans to have the EPA address her committee. Both chambers are currently working on federal legislation to help regulate the global warming epidemic.
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