Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Environment Improving? Washington State Will End Emission Testing of Cars in 2020

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In today’s age when everything that humans do puts more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which allegedly causes the Earth to get warmer, it’s highly unusual that any government would actually roll back an environmental law.  But that’s exactly what’s happening in Washington State, where emission testing of vehicles is set to end at the end of 2019.

From the state’s Department of Ecology: “After 38 years, Washington’s emission check program will end on January 1, 2020. After this time, vehicle owners will no longer be required to have their vehicle’s emissions tested before renewing their registration.”

While environmentalists and climate alarmists may scratch their heads at the decision, the state explains, “Air quality in Washington is much cleaner than when the program began in 1982, and every community in our state currently meets all federal air quality standards.  The combination of the testing program, advances in vehicle technology and improved motor fuels have led to significant reductions in transportation-related air pollution.”

The end to emissions testing sounds especially odd in Washington, where last year environmental lobbyists attempted to place the United States’ first-ever carbon tax on fossil fuel emissions. Initiative 1631 was intended to be a Pigovian tax, in that it would attempt to place a cost on a negative byproduct of industry (in this case the burning of fossil fuels) in order to reduce or eliminate that byproduct. In other words, if Washingtonians didn’t wish to pay the tax, they needed to eliminate all carbon emissions. 

I-1631 was voted down by Washington’s usually reliably liberal voters 56-44 percent. The initiative would have reportedly cost taxpayers $1 billion per year by 2023. 

And now, starting in 2020, Washington’s motorists will save an additional $15 per year (per vehicle) since they will no longer have to have those carbon spewing automobiles tested. “It makes sense now that air quality has improved to wind the program down and focus on other ways to improve air quality,” said Andrew Wineke, a spokesman for the Department of Ecology, which runs the emissions testing program. “Let’s save people 15 bucks and the aggravation and wind this down.”

Emissions testing for vehicles in the United States began in New Jersey in 1974 as a response to the Clean Air Act of 1970. In the early to mid-1980s other states followed suit until 37 states required some sort of emissions testing. In 2020, Washington will join Minnesota, Michigan, Florida, Alaska, and Kentucky as states whose air quality has improved to the point of discontinuing their emission testing programs.

Climate alarmists tell us that air quality, while related to climate change, is really not the same thing. Air quality, while allegedly a factor in climate change, is really more about short-lived climate-forcing pollutants (SLCPs) such as methane, black carbon, ground-level ozone, and sulfate aerosols. These SLCPs allegedly contribute to climate change but have much shorter atmospheric lifespans than the carbon dioxide, which remains in the atmosphere for 100 years or more.

This is not to say that atmospheric carbon dioxide is a bad thing; CO2 also enters the atmosphere via respiration, is not a pollutant, and is essential for the existence of plants, which absorb CO2 through photosynthesis. But that said, the shorter atmospheric lifespans of SLCPs why there is not much outcry from the climate alarmist community about the ending of vehicle emissions testing.

Still, it’s an interesting piece of good news about the environment when we are told that “the world is gonna end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change,” by faux climate expert and brand new congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  

According to the World Health Organization, air pollution is the number one cause of environmental death worldwide, causing more than 7 million premature deaths per year.  How is it, that in America, a country that is so derided by the climate change and globalist communities for not doing enough for the environment, is seemingly able to solve the air quality problem on its own shores?

Perhaps America is the example to be followed in things environmental and should not be the object of globalist scorn.

Photo: sylv1rob1/iStock/Getty Images Plus

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