California Fines Suzuki – Tells Motorcycle Owners Hands Off Your Engine

California Air Resources BoardCalifornia doesn't want motorcycle owners messing with their engines and if the manufacturer makes it possible to do so through the use of an aftermarket tuner, then they'll fine the manufacturer for allowing that to happen.

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) today announced that American Suzuki Motor Corporation and Suzuki Motor Corporation of Japan have agreed to a settlement of $3,020,000 to resolve violations of the California Health and Safety Code related to off-highway motorcycles equipped with dual calibrated emissions systems.

Dual calibrations within the emission control system allow motorcycle owners to purchase low-cost aftermarket devices that provide access to alternative engine control programming. This allows greater vehicle performance but also significantly increases smog-forming emissions. Such systems are prohibited by California law if they are undisclosed to ARB prior to the vehicles' approval for sale and if they are easily accessible by the vehicle owner.

As a strong advocate of the "hands on" movement to build, modify, fix and repair as necessary, I am happy I'm not living in California. How do you California residents put up with this stuff?

Off-highway vehicles that do not meet California's emission requirements pose a real danger to California residents.

Really? Yes, those dirt bikes are a big problem in California. Here's your government approved motorcycle, you're allowed to ride it, just don't put a wrench to it. Think of the children!

Link: Power Engineering

UPDATE: After digging around on the CARB site, I found this particular case was closed last year, it just looks like it took a while for it to bubble to the surface. I have a hunch that happens a lot, government agencies take some action, levy fines and penalties and so much of this goes on no one can possibly pay attention and stay on top of it all. When it finally gets any publicity, it's over and done, too late to do anything about it, if it was possible in the first place.

Comments

  1. p says

    there is no doubt we will have one of the most historically inept governments when it hits the fan financially. For now, we enjoy the good weather on our um…unadulteraded vehicles

  2. JeCo says

    Where is support Suzuki donation page? Normally not a Suzuki supporter but might buy one this year depending how Suzuki responds.

    Design & Build – Don’t be scared to use your hands.

  3. Mean Monkey says

    ((Off-highway vehicles that do not meet California’s emission requirements pose a real danger to California residents. [Really? Yes, those dirt bikes are a big problem in California. Here’s your government approved motorcycle, you’re allowed to ride it, just don’t put a wrench to it. Just think of the children!] ))

    I’m with you there, Paul.
    Could be that CARB wants you to join a secret society of Masonic mechanics that pays a heavy motor-tweaking tax in order to work on your motorcycles.

    As for thinking of the children, I’m pretty sure that more kids are harmed by the drugs and guns loose on the CA streets than by the fumes caused by someone roosting up a sand dune with a well-tuned motor.

  4. OMMAG says

    California is traditionally the edge of the regulatory wedge …. next the EPA will use this as an excuse to do the same thing to the rest of America and there is not a damned thing you can do about it unless you get rid of the idiot politicians who support this sort of garbage.

    Consider the enforcement of tier IV diesel emissions standards on Construction and Farm equipment. A totally useless law that costs everybody and sucks billions out of the economy. All because politicians are too spineless and stupid to stand up to envirnmental lobby groups. Think about that the next time you get behind some group like the Sierra Club, the WWF, Greenpeace or anyone else that is pimping the “Green” agenda. If you want to make a point try letting CocaCola know what you think of their support for the WWF and the fraudulent claims about saving polar bears.

    Or just bend over and take it till the rest of the US is as bankrupt as California.

    • Wayno says

      Not spineless. More like to greedy not to except lobby money and vote as they are told.

  5. blackbird says

    Be glad we have California as an early warning system. Voting in a sane government is our only legal option.

  6. scritch says

    Sometimes it seems like the government is overreaching in its regulations, but there’s too much “Get off my lawn” in your comments. You may not like regulation, but I bet you don’t mind that there are regulations to keep your neighbor from “tweaking” a few household chemicals into methamphetamine. The CARB exists because California has experienced some of the worst air pollution in the nation in the past, and doesn’t wish to return to those days. My mother remembers days in Santa Monica when you couldn’t see two blocks because of the smog. I remember days in San Jose when we weren’t allowed to play outside at recess because of the smog. The air is pretty good these days, even though the number of vehicles is greatly increased. If air pollution stopped at your property line there wouldn’t be a need for these regulations, but air doesn’t know boundaries. You pollute and we all have to breathe it.

    It seems to me that there are two important points here. First, re-engineering is great, but if the general result produces more harm than good (as in increased air pollution) then some curbs need to be placed on those harmful activities. Second, “the government” is US. We get what we elect. Certainly the bureaucracy is vast and hard to change, but it can be changed, and until we elect representatives that will change it, the fault is ours.

    • Fred M. says

      Good comment. People seem to forget that California’s CARB regulations were a response to the infamous, choking smog and that the regulations have resulted in a dramatic change for the better.

      And to most of those “tuners”: Really? You could not buy a bike that had enough horsepower for someone of your awesome skill level? James Stewart or Davy Milsaps could probably get on clapped out YZ80 and leave you for dead on anything you bought, stock or modified, including a 450.

    • Dan W says

      Lifelong Californian here, and my mom grew up in Pasadena in the 1950s, 1 mile from the foot of a mountain that blocks the sky. On bad pollution days, she says the smog was so thick you couldn’t see the mountain.

      I think it’s kind of funny and sad when people enjoying clean air in a densely populated area complain about clean air rules. Visit ANY 3rd world capital city – doesn’t have to be Beijing – and you’ll come running back to CARB land with your opinion changed. On a related note, I read that about 1/3 of the smog in the SF bay area is actually blown over from China.

      On the other hand, I really enjoy burning gas and tweaking stuff. I’m a committed DIY’er, I’ve done track days, and I strongly believe in the owner’s ability to OWN and modify their purchase. Don’t get me started on manufacturer service lockouts, weird security fasteners on easily serviceable parts, car dealerships having to call a corporate help desk to read an ECU code, smartphone warranties voided by hacking, etc. I also believe that having a large grassroots DIY community tweaking their own sh1t is the foundation for having well trained experts years later who can keep development moving.

      So I’m of two minds, but I think they can coexist, because the majority of vehicle owners will never modify their stuff. It seems to me that if you make all vehicles conform to strict standards at the time of sale, and let the tuners modify their own, the impact from the tuning world would be pretty minor in terms of pollution. The benefit of reducing political backlash against helpful regulations could be major. I have no numbers to back this up. Just keep a few rules against really obnoxious modifications, like removing catalytic converters completely. I think that would be a good balance.

  7. Oldyeller says

    This brings up a contentious opinion which ever side you take. Freedom vs. Future. Not just (this) article related but in all areas – when we’ve destroyed this planet and have made it uninhabitable for ALL creatures – we will probably wish we had done somethings differently. But by then it will be to late. So enjoy the freedom while it’s there. Eventually all things must come to an end.

  8. says

    I am with scritch. Been wrenching most of my life and have seen more harm caused by inept owners. Funny how a guy with little education thinks he can make bike better than a team of engineers. Agree that owners should learn how to maintain and properly repair their own stuff, but have had plenty of bikes in the shop that from the sound were way to loud, and from the smell were tuned way to rich. We have cars that run better than ever, with almost no maintenance, good fuel economy, and practically zero emissions. It is time for the motorcycle business to step up, or become totally irrelevant.

  9. says

    So, this $3 million fine was paid to the State.

    And was any of the so-called pollution removed from the air as a result?
    No.
    Was any “injured party” who was “forced” to breathe in any whiff of these “noxious fumes” compensated for their damages in any way?
    No.
    Was there ANY benefit to the people at all from this action, aside from a payment that essentially amounts to a “bribe” to the State Government to “allow’ the manufacturer to get away with all that “pollution”, so that the State Gov’t can continue operating its bloated bureaucracies and onerous taxation policies?
    No.

    The false premise that people seem to accept is that these fines/payments to fund bureaucracies actually do anything at all to help “the perceived problem”, when in reality all it does is fill the state’s coffers with more money to spend on its pet programs, salaries, and perks for bureaucrats, while the same amount of “pollution” or any other “infraction” persists, and none of the “people” are made whole for any of it.. The people are cut out of the loop. The gov’t takes the money and does what it wants with it, and the people are not “in the club” so they get cut out. Then a press release is issued to “assure” the people that this is helping to “stop pollution”.

    But hey! Running an oppressive government is an expensive proposition that needs to forcibly extract as much money from the people as possible. How else would these gov’t guys be able to make a living with no skills for anything but theft and coercion?

    • todd says

      I appreciate Suzuki going to bat for us all. I imagine the alternative would be to have annual $mog check$ on motorcycles and fining people, removing bikes from the road if they aren’t up to sniff.

      -todd

  10. todd says

    Seriously, a bone stock WR250F or RM-Z250 is leagues ahead of my 1972 RT2 360 two-stroke in terms of power and chassis and probably a 100 times cleaner burning. I don’t quite get why The Average Guy needs to tweak just that much more. If it’s more power you want opt for the 450 or slot a Busa motor in a RM chassis. These off-road bike’s performance is so far out of reach from nearly everyone, don’t kid yourself thinking you’ll ride faster because you tuned the EFI.

    California is a beautiful state to ride in – all year round. Let’s keep it that way.

    -todd

  11. Paul Crowe says

    All of us, no matter where we stand politically, want to live in a clean environment, and the best way to keep the environment clean is to promote economic prosperity. Subjecting companies and most of us to fines, penalties, carbon taxes, restrictions and regulations does the opposite, but without a strong and prosperous economy, no one will care about any real or imagined environmental issues, not until they are employed and able to take care of their family’s basic needs. When people are doing well, they can devote their attention to things like air and water quality, but put enough people out of work and the environmental movement will, itself, become irrelevant.

    As those of you in California remember the smog in the 60s and 70s, those of us in the northeast remember another event, the Cuyahoga river in Cleveland catching fire in 1969. It was a big deal, lots of people made jokes about it, but the consensus of opinion at the time was enough is enough, this has got to stop. The river and Lake Erie are far cleaner now and that’s truly a wonderful thing, but what few are aware of is the Cuyahoga river didn’t “finally” catch fire in 1969 due to all of our freedom to do as we please, greed, economic progress and prosperity, it was just the latest in a long series of fires dating all the way back to 1868, before the industrial revolution! There was also 1912, 1936, 1952 and a number of others, some causing a lot of damage. What was different in 1969 was that we had an economy that was prosperous enough and the attitude was, yes, now we could afford to fix the problem, and it was fixed.

    The EPA was established shortly after in 1970 as a result of this consensus that we could clean these things up, but instead of looking at these issues as solvable problems to be aware of, working with companies and communities to find ways to keep things clean while not jeopardizing their ability to stay in business, the EPA has grown huge, constantly expanding what it sees as its mission, and is now staffed by people, from the administrator on down, who think anything we do is harmful to the environment and they seem to have no problem with companies having to close their doors and communities suffering high unemployment if it means preventing any potential harm, as defined by the EPA.

    Fines like this one levied by California are a classic government “solution.” It’s like fining someone because the paint on his house is peeling and is offending his neighbors, when the problem is he’s out of work and can’t afford to get it painted. If individuals and companies are doing well, they are far more able and willing to make sure their activities are environmentally clean and correct. It would be nice if our regulators understood that, but to tell you the truth, I think they do.

    • Fred M. says

      Paul, Suzuki is not some innocent victim of big government overreach. They knowingly provided a means of skirting the regulations that other manufacturers were following, even though they knew that it would result in higher pollution.

      Honda, Yamaha, KTM, and Kawasaki were able to make and sell off-road bikes and ATVs without resorting to a nudge-nudge-wink-wink “dual calibration” fueling system. They were competing fairly in the marketplace while Suzuki was making cheater bikes and ATVs. Suzuki just wanted to steal sales away from companies that played by the rules — ‘buy a Suzuki and you can outperform your buddies on their CARB-compliant bikes.’

      You wrote: “When people are doing well, they can devote their attention to things like air and water quality, but put enough people out of work and the environmental movement will, itself, become irrelevant.”

      Suzuki had already devoted their attention to reducing air pollution. Then they devoted more attention to creating a way to allow owners to circumvent the pollution controls. This was not some case of some struggling manufacturer who just could not afford to engineer a bike that could meet the air pollution regulations. It was a case of a multi-national, huge company decided that they wanted to steal sales away from their competitors who were playing by the rules.

    • Ken says

      While I agree that CARB has some crazy rules, the reality is that they do more good than bad. I have to deal with entities in CA on a professional and personal level throughout the year. Some inspectors work with you and some try to railroad you.
      Back on the subject of dual mapping, I wonder if it because their engines were choked to the point it wasn’t able to keep up with like machines. I know this was the case with Yamaha’s WR450 a few years ago. It had the power of a 250 at best until you, on your own, removed the smog equipment and rejetted it. Instead of making the customer figure it out for themselves, they shortcut the process and didn’t do their homework to see if it’s legal.

    • cyclox says

      “The river and Lake Erie are far cleaner now and that’s truly a wonderful thing, but what few are aware of is the Cuyahoga river didn’t “finally” catch fire in 1969 due to all of our freedom to do as we please, greed, economic progress and prosperity, it was just the latest in a long series of fires dating all the way back to 1868, before the industrial revolution!”

      My understanding of the Industrial Revolution is that it began in 18th-century England and had a second phase in the 19th century with the advent of steam power.

      The companies that eventually became Standard Oil in 1870 were definitely in business in 1868 and most likely were shipping (and spilling) products like kerosene on the Cuyahoga. I don’t know what would cause a river to catch on fire other than refined petroleum compounds, and, in a quick google search, could not find many details on the 1868 fire.

  12. digimoto64 says

    Yea you guys are right, we should stop everyone from doing anything that could be even remotely dangerous. Heaven forbid someone try to learn something for themselves like tweaking on a dirt bike. I mean why would they even want to be autodidactic our experimental when our public schooling produces such great results on its own. What’s next. no opening your computer case and fiddling about with the parts inside for fear you might bypass its green energy status.

  13. Paulinator says

    I had the pleasure to meet a young guy while installing a prototype wheelchair restraint device in Victoria BC last year. He was working with the transit authority in a co-op program thru the university’s Mechanical Engineering department. He walked a lot because he couldn’t afford the gas for his Nisan Skyline that he and a buddy tuned (re-mapped) to nearly 400 hp…and 13 mpg. OK, so we know that engine was spraying raw fuel out the tail-pipe, as I’m sure he did, too. Watch what that kid is going to do next, though, with that real-world experience which can’t be taken in pill form. People like that are a beacon of hope for our future. I’m not sure that slapping them down is in our own best interests.

  14. Bugs says

    Making as new regulation is like telling a lie. Once one has been made you need another 10 to cover the first one, Suzuki came in under the emissions controls, so they need to make a regulation that it should not be an ‘easily accessible’ modification. Now here comes the other ten pages defining what is meant by ‘easily accessible’, and every one that buys a motorcycle will pay for it.

  15. Gary says

    As a lifelong Californian, I know the air pollution that is being talked about. From
    visiting Disneyland back when I was a kid in the 70s to just last July I can tell you the difference is amazing. I am glad that an effort was made but I am much more aware that for the people who were living in it every day it was possibly life or death. However, the pendulum has swung so far in the past 40 years that it has gone too far and I am fearing that the same momentum the libs felt in trying to move it left will be felt by conservatives like me in trying to push it back to a reasonable middle. I understand both sides but I could not but be infuriated when Sacramento County and others around it had to put boots on gas pump nozzles to slow down air pollution while the San Franciso Bay Area did not because they had a nice breeze 24/7 that blew all their pollution into the Sacramento Valley.

  16. Aaron says

    Before you know it companies will stop selling to us Californians all together. To much hassel! It will be like getting government cheese!

    • todd says

      The majority of manufacturers bikes are not available in the US because of California requirements. There is even a surprising number of bikes not available in California that are available in every other state.

      -todd

  17. Fxrocket says

    we in california are forced to deal with it, getting crazy here. I remember when they wanted to smog motorcycles. It was going to cost the state more money to implement this than the revenue it was going to get from testing…… we have alot of misguided people at our capital… its time to just move out of this state. Which people are doing.

  18. Gerry says

    I remember back in the early 1970s, the Volkswagen bug gave over 30 miles to the imperial gallon but because it was parts per million NOX that counted it was discontinued. Of course the Lincoln Continentals with their 460 engines got better parts per million on their NOX checks. Funny how nobody noticed that they only got about 4 miles to the gallon. The bug burned 3333 gallons in 100,000 miles so they scrapped it. The Lincoln was allowed to stay ’cause it was cleaner and it only required 25,000 gallons to go the same distance. Are we still doing this? Am I wrong or does a 100 HP bike not get better mileage than a 500 HP car? It seems to me that financially it makes more sense to reduce fuel consumption. If you burned 1/2 the fuel, you would automatically have half the pollutants to worry about. So why doesn’t California mandate a maximum of 1000 CC in cars and motorcycles and 35 MPG? Obviously doing the right thing again takes a back seat to greed and waste. Frankly, I don’t think that any government is really serious about fuel saving or pollution.

    • Anon_Mahna says

      A lot of what government (pick any side they’re all guilty of it) does, reminds me of “For every problem there is a simple and concise wrong answer that will be applied with vehemence.”

  19. dylan says

    california is a testbed for 1,000s of totally orwellian laws every year. soon to follow: 1984, soylent green, minority report, farenheit 451, ect. ect. i am in california, 90242 and i know…..

  20. mark says

    When is California scheduled to fall of the left side? Let’s just transplant the Sequoia and let the rest go.

  21. EM says

    I am a California resident. Honestly, the CARB laws are getting completely out of hand. Especially as cars made after 1975 are not grandfathered into the pre smog laws. Anything 1976 and newer is a constant battle to keep on the road. My 2004 Toyota Truck with zero modifications passes all the smog numbers and requirements however, does not pass the visual inspection as my catalytic converters were replaced out of state. California legal catalytic converters are four to five times the price of the ones I purchased out of state.

    I helped a buddy who has an older Honda and is in a tough financial situation at the moment with a check engine light. It turned out to be a cracked in some sort of emissions breather on the engine. The part was fairly expensive from Honda, so in a pinch I JB welded it for him. A month or two later he went to a smog station and failed smog for having “modified emissions equipment”. We found another smog station, that was less observant and he passed all the numbers.

    I would have no problem with the emissions laws here in California if it was just a numbers game. However, the fact that you can only use specific parts and only use parts that a state agency deems useable is where the problem is. On top of all that the state makes incredibly difficult for parts to become Air Resource Board approved.

    It is bad, unsustainable, and baked in obsolescence for older vehicles.

  22. DWolvin says

    I know it sounds bad, but does anyone here remember the rivers and bays on fire? When women could walk outside and have their stocking melt? I’ts crazy to say that I can’t touch my bike (I’m in SoCal), but every time I get stuck behind some moron with open pipes and way to much unburned fuel I wonder if it’s still something I can back at all. but then again, I still run into bikers that swear they should be able to do watever they want (no gear at any time, stunting, drunk, etc). best case is more anger towards us bikers and more laws to follow.

  23. Paul says

    If you don’t like Environmental regulations move to China. pollution levels in Beijing have been “off the scale” recently.

  24. JSH says

    It has been illegal to modify your engine for more than 30 years. It has also been illegal for manufacturers to sell you none DOT / EPA compliant parts. In the past manufacturers got around this by stamping “For Competition Use Only” on an exhaust they sold even though they knew 99.9% of those exhausts were used on the road. This moved the liability from manufacturer to the owner. Suzuki screwed up by removing a step from the process.

  25. RTL says

    It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native criminal class except Congress.
    Mark Twain

    120 years and politicians haven’t changed!

  26. Randy says

    I’ve lived here since 1961, will be voting with my feet in a few years. I’m with the others that think the place is completely getting crazy. I lived throught the worst of the pollution (San gabriel Valley as a kid). CARB long ago did what was needed, they could have stopped 20 years ago ramping the regulations and it would be the same.

  27. Howard says

    Got behind a diesal truck, pulled over till he was way gone because I couldn’t breath. Lawn mowers, weed eaters and just so many other motors polluting the air not to mention how the power plants and other factory’s crank em up at night so we can’t see the smoke stacks polluting the air and that’s a fact! It’s all about money! Remember our kids, I have to laugh, they don’t care about our kids, it’s just a political brain washing technique they use all the time! What about our kids having a chance of getting a good job after they give away all the money to give free medical and food to illegal immigrants ? It’s just an instant turn off when they start their politics by using slogans that try to compare our love for our children with anything, making themselves seem as if they are concerned more about our children than we are! My kid died in a helicopter crash while serving in the service! They don’t care about our children! Think a flag and a medal will take the place of my child! I don’t think so! Keep it on the level !!

  28. Marshall says

    I’m just finishing a 2-week business trip in Asia where I got to breathe the air of Beijing, Xiamen and Taichung. Every day here I find myself thinking about how lucky I am to live in a state where people have (A) the desire and (B) the political freedom to keep the air clean. Cap/trade policies can be used to make both corporations and individuals pay for the true cost of their actions, in a way that fits well with the capitalism and innovation that our country runs on. This fine seems a little odd, but the fact is it will probably discourage Suzuki and others from allowing their bikes to pollute like our friends here in Asia who lack most of our regulations. I for one have no problem with it.

  29. Cowpieapex says

    “the best way to keep the environment clean is to promote economic prosperity.”
    I hate to say anything but… does this cool-aid taste funny to you.
    The paragon of economic prosperity in our time is China with over 10% growth for the last three decades. I haven’t been there myself but my mother spent 3 weeks there a while back. She said she couldn’t see blue sky until she reached Tibet and the chronic hack she acquired there has persisted for over a year.
    This “invisible hand” myth as a solution to all societal ills reminds me of the ham- fisted mechanic who thinks a standard screwdriver is a good chisel/pry bar/drift/mallet etc.
    As to the mass exodus of downtrodden leaving California,
    there are exits located at the Oregon, Nevada, and Mexican borders and in case of water landing your inflated sense of self worth can double as a flotation device.
    Many can not wrap their minds around the phenomenon that is California. For example California is the fourth largest producer of food in the world. That represents about 1% of our total economic output. Manufacturing constitutes 10%. Yes we are crowded, crime ridden, dirty and over regulated. It’s not surprising that the citizens, government and established industries are not clamoring for more demand.
    California doers are already shaping your future. From clean technologies and IT to private spaceflight. It is happening here. Go big and play by the rules if you want to run with these big dogs.
    Those who can’t won’t be missed.

    • Paul Crowe says

      I’m guessing you’re a very long time, perhaps lifetime, resident of California, and in the same way a resident in a particular neighborhood or city may not notice or even completely misses a long and steady decline in his surroundings, you appear to be overlooking what’s happening in your state, citing what California once was as though it still describes what it is.

      Making your point by citing China and the “invisible hand” is odd. China doesn’t operate under the invisible hand of the free market, it runs under the heavy hand of government control, exactly the thing I am questioning and you seem to be defending.

      My point that prosperous countries are the only ones that can afford to look after their environment still stands and if the economy declines due to over zealous regulation, the environment will deteriorate along with it. Perhaps you can point out to everyone an example from anywhere in the world where a country went from poor and undeveloped to properous and advanced while instituting strict environmental regulations from the start. I’ve never seen it, but maybe I’m missing something.

      The people and businesses leaving California are not just the “downtrodden.” You mention private space flight companies, XCOR is one, it grew in California and is moving to Texas. Apple Computer is also expanding in Texas.

      Stockton, Mammoth Lakes and San Bernadino, CA have gone bankrupt. These things are bad signs for a state that, blessed as it is with geographic beauty and huge resources, should have everything going for it.

      Last point: Debates like this can be enlightening and if you would like to state your views, I, and many others, will listen, hear what you have to say and respond. I will say, that you, as a long time reader and commenter here on The Kneeslider, should know that already, which is why I find your “cool aid” and “inflated sense of self worth” comments to be disappointing. Intelligent people can disagree and those additions to your comment aren’t helpful.

  30. Cowpieapex says

    Indeed, pardon my prickly reaction to what I saw as a chorus of routine California bashing.
    My primary point though is that this kind of increasing regulation is the result of extreme development.
    Just as a spirited romp on my motorcycle through the mountains is not constrained by the burdens of rules and surveillance found in a trip downtown, it is easier to do business from a regulatory standpoint in an underdeveloped location.
    As a lifelong resident who has worked throughout the state in a diverse range of industries from mining,manufacturing,power generation, refining and agriculture my perspective is the exact opposite of (“you appear to be overlooking what’s happening in your state,”). Some sectors have taken a beating but, as an overall share of the world economy California’s position has advanced .
    I’m sure Texas has benefited from industries and enterprises that were generated here. I am personally aware of businesses in Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Nevada and Mexico which originated in California.
    The issue of air quality in particular is one where California is in trouble. In the American Lung Association’s 2012 report on air quality, 5 of the 10 dirtiest cities in America were spread around California. We continue to do heavy lifting for America and the world but, competition for that which is great demand will inevitably be constrained by some law. It will ether be that of the jungle where the victory is to the most savage, or it will be the rule of civilization where we wrangle perpetually to govern an economic engine so that it neither stalls nor over-speeds.
    You perhaps missed my use of the term myth in reference to “the invisible hand”. It is my point precisely that development does not happen accidentally. When my ancestors escaped the famine of 1879 in Ireland they came to work building the Great Northern Railway. Rail development in America didn’t happen in spite of government policy but because of it. One of the rail barons made fabulously wealthy by said policy endowed Stanford University where these rails we ride here today were forged. And yet again, the internet, a product in some major part of DARPA and the American government, is changing and advancing our civilization.
    I would never want to have to live with the central planning of Pyongyang but, likewise the unregulated marketplace of Mogadishu has failed also to be a font of prosperity and progress.
    In this forum and others we can and must argue the relative merits of the regulations that we the people use to regulate growth and mitigate harm. An attitude of “all rules are bad” is the antithesis of this sort of examination.

  31. says

    The claimed vehicular customization capital of the usa- yet as far as Im concerned, is way to strict on vehicles. Take all that money and remove a couple thousand feet from those mountains, maybe then it wont be as bad as you join the rest of us in a few more ways. This is the only thing stopping me from ever living there. My state only has window tint regulations and a sound ordinance- now I can live like that. Perfect for cars and little smog for sitting in a valley

  32. Sean B says

    30-year resident of California. CARB appointments tend to go to enviro-zealots, because the environmentalist groups are the only people who pay attention to CARB appointments. Additionally, CA is very hard up for revenue these days, which combines with zealotry to produce abusive regulatory behavior.

    I don’t see much hope for improvement – like Detroit, the people who desire reform, and those who pay taxes, have been moving out of state.