The United Auto Workers vs. California

Attempts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions "discriminate" against the makers of SUVS, complains the UAW.

Published May 20, 2008 10:32PM (EDT)

One of the beefs organized labor has with "free trade" is the belief that countries with weak environmental standards suck jobs away from the United States.

But guess what -- tougher environmental standards also threaten U.S. jobs, or so say the United Auto Workers.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the UAW is opposing a bill introduced by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D.-Calif., which would overturn the EPA's decision in December to deny California a waiver allowing the state to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

In a letter Monday to Sen. Boxer, the union's legislative director, Alan Reuther, condemned the measure as "misguided" and said California's approach to controlling automobile emissions of carbon dioxide -- the main gas believed to contribute to global warming -- unfairly discriminates against companies whose product mix is skewed toward pickup trucks, sport-utility vehicles and minivans.

Here at How the World Works, it seems to me that the general public, with one eye on the gas pump, is doing most of the discriminating against SUVs and minivans. But go ahead, Detroit, and blame California, if it makes you feel better.

By Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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Environment Global Warming Globalization How The World Works