Green Operations

California Scraps 'Cool Car' Rules

April 06, 2010

SACRAMENTO, CA - California officials have decided against implementing a controversial set of regulations, dubbed "cool car" rules, which were aimed at cutting the carbon footprint of vehicle air conditioning, the Los Angeles Times reported. 

The rules would have required a clear, reflective glaze on vehicle windows as a way to block sunlight-generated heat. The California Air Resources Board passed the rules in June and was in the process of finalizing them. 

But those plans changed after law enforcement officials expressed concerns that the coating -- a spray of microscopic metal particles designed to block infrared rays -- would interfere with the electronic monitoring of ankle bracelets on paroled felons. In addition, wireless phone companies said the window glaze had the potential to degrade cell phone calls, including 911 calls. Toll road operators also warned that the window coating could make it difficult for motorists to use the E-Z Pass toll pay systems. 

The goal of the rules had been to help the state comply with AB 32, California's sweeping 2006 climate-change law, which requires the state to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent over the next decade. 

"Following the June 2009 Board adoption of the cool cars regulation, stakeholders raised several new issues involving performance of electronic devices as they may affect public safety," said Air Resources Board Executive Officer James N. Goldstene in a released statement. "After listening to this input and accounting for the legal deadline to finalize the rule, today we are announcing that the AB32 'cool cars' rulemaking will cease.  Instead, the Board will pursue a performance-based approach as part of its vehicle climate change program to reduce CO2 from air conditioning and provide cooler car interiors for California motorists."

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