Al Gore touts “going green” as good for the bottom line, but a California appeals court ruling that upholds Southern California alternate fuel mandates for public vehicle fleets (which may be extended to other fleets like FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service) threatens local communities and manufacturers with new cost burdens.
Other states worry that the ruling picking certain technologies (natural gas) over others (like more efficient diesel engines) could become a national precedent, putting pressure on local budgets by greatly increasing the costs of public vehicles.
An excerpt from “US: California court alternative fuel ruling causes jitters” at Just-auto.com, which covers the auto industry:
“The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that rubbish haulers, school and city bus lines and other publicly funded fleets in Southern California can be required to buy low-polluting vehicles run on natural gas or other alternative fuels. (The court) cited regulators as saying that . . . alternative-technology vehicles might initially be more costly than buying diesel equipment, but saves lives and costs in the long run.
“The Engine Manufacturers Association has vigorously fought Southern California’s regulations because they could spread to other states and cities, creating a ‘patchwork of different regulations’ that would make it difficult and costly to manufacture different equipment for different localities.”