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CARB Halts ‘Cool Car’ Rule

UV carAfter complaints that a clear, reflective glaze on car windows – designed to cut emissions by virtue of blocking excessive sunlight and heat – would keep cell phone calls from coming through, the California Air Resources Board has decided to shelve plans for its so-called “Cool Car” rules, part of AB32.

In addition to a degraded cell phone signal, it was brought to the fore by law enforcement that the glaze would interfere with electronic ankle bracelets for paroled offendees, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Windows that complied with the standard by 2012 were to block 33 percent more heat-producing rays from the sun, designed to cool a vehicle’s interior by approximately 14 degrees Fahrenheit for a car and 12 degrees Fahrenheit for a pickup or SUV.

By 2016, the percentage of rays blocked was to have climbed to 60 percent.

CARB had estimated that, once fully implemented, the rules would have meant cutting 700,000 metric tons of emissions a year by 2020. CARB said that was the same as taking 140,000 cars off the road.

Automakers, including Ford and Toyota, had sought to delay the regulation, which would have added up to $250 to the cost of each vehicle.

Indeed, the Detroit News called the scrapping of the rules “a victory for automakers.”

CARB has other plans, however, including new standards to reduce emissions related to auto air conditioning, as well as providing cooler car interiors.

AB32 itself is coming under fire from business groups. Even Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has made AB32 a centerpiece of his governorship, sent a letter to CARB saying that California industry’s  must receive “sufficient time” to reduce emissions, according to the Sacramento Bee.

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