CARB (California Air Resources Board) is Robbing You Blind with Waste and Incompetence

Government Solutions YOU Pay For...

I was motivated this AM by Stephen Frank’s “California Political News and Views”1 post entitled “Government Orders Millions of $$ Spent,Then Says “OOPS””.  (be sure to use the link below to read this article)  This story is one of hundreds where CARB and their various Air Quality Districts throughout California have wasted millions if not billions of taxpayer’s money.  Frank’s story basically discusses the mandate by CARB that gas station nozzles utilize a specific nozzle technology for vapor recovery.  To date, there are 35,000 of these nozzles in gas stations throughout California.  The only problem is that these nozzles have a defect that may cause the nozzle shut off to malfunction and spray gasoline all over you.  Not good news for smokers…  The cost to just replace these 35,000 nozzles is estimated to be $10.5M.  Bet that is low.  Plus, there will be law suits by the “sprayees”.   Who will pay for the nozzles or the law suit settlements?  You of course.

Here are a couple of other examples of Brilliant CARB dictates before I get to my direct experience:


CARB Sanction Carcinogen


  Remember MTBE?  For those of us in California we used to see a small placard on the gas pumps saying; “Contains MTBE”.  I don’t know about you but anything containing an acronym makes be nervous.  Kind of like, “Contains MSG”!  For those who never knew what MTBE stood for it is methyl tertiary butyl ether.   Not a lot of help.  Bottom line was that this chemical additive was supposed to burn your gasoline more efficiently.  I asked a person from the Bay Area Air Resources organization if that meant that I would get better mileage.  She said no.  HMMM…  If it burns more efficiently, why wouldn’t it not improve mileage?  But, the “good” news was that MTBE actually had the ability of RUINING THE GROUND WATER NEAR GAS STATIONS AS IT ATE THROUGH THE UNDERGROUND TANKS!  PERFECT!  Lake Tahoe is one such victim.  An added bonus of MTBE is that it has been identified as a carcinogenic.  Did CARB immediately remove MTBE from gasoline as soon as they found out they were ruining ground water, Lake Tahoe, and probably giving people cancer.  NOPE.  They had contracts with Canada that they had to honor until the contacts ran out.  It took YEARS to get this poison out of the gasoline, not days.


And this problem was created by the GREENIES on the LEFT.

 Ethanol:  Since CARB was ruining our ground water and giving us cancer, CARB had to come up with a new answer in order to save us from ourselves.  CARB admitted that, Ethanol is more expensive than MTBE but does not cause cancer (that they know of).  hallelujah and pass the hat!  Ethanol is alcohol but I would rather take mine in the form of Gin.  CARB, by taking this action, helped to raise the price, artificially, on corn and other feed grains and caused starvation or hunger for millions around the world.  Good Job, at least you did not give them cancer or ruin the ground water or lakes!

And this problem was created by the GREENIES on the LEFT.

My Personal Experience with CARB:

Now, for my personal story that ended my career in creating public sector software solutions.  When you create software systems, you have to analyze the process you are automating in minute detail.  If the process involves what a person has to do in the performance of their job and their interaction with the “system” you have to analyze the details of this interaction as well.  You also have to understand the business rules that dictate the use of the system.  That said, the solution was to automate the capturing of gas station inspections and generate citations for any violations of CARB rules for vapor recovery apparatus that was installed at the gas station.  The inspectors in this district, basically were completing 2-3 audits per day.  We flow charted their movements during an audit and performed a time and motion study as well.

During the beta testing by my team, we were able to perform a typical audit in under an hour including drive time.  (gas stations are pretty concentrated so it does not take long to drive to one that is located next to several others)  After doing a few audits with the software, we found that you could easily do up to 2 audits per hour if there was not a lot of drive time involved.  We used mapping software to group gas stations into territories so the drive time would be minimal.  The system was accepted and the inspectors were trained.  We did a follow-up a month later to see how the system was functioning and whether there was a need for improvements.  What we found was the inspectors were still only completed 2-3 audits per day!  Their supervisor told us that they were not looking for labor efficiencies with the system but merely a way to make it easier to issue citations!  A Revenue Generator!  WOW, he just told a taxpayer that he did not care if his people were screwing me, and my fellow taxpayers!

PG&E Exemptions:  During our analysis we also performed reviews of some of the CARB rules and regulations regarding vapor recovery inspections and EXCLUSIONS.  We found out that PG&E, that paragon of environmental concern, was EXEMPT from vapor recovery inspections.  Why, CARB created a loophole for them so that if they use a fuel wagon to fill their vehicles, rather than have tanks and nozzles, they did not have to have vapor recovery equipment on the fuel wagons.  Next time you are driving, check out how many PG&E vehicles you see on the road or how many “Global Warming” advertisements PG&E sponsors with your money.

Airport Exemptions:  We also learned that Airport refueling equipment was exempt from CARB vapor recovery regulations and equipment/inspection requirements.  Airline refueling emits tons of hydrocarbons into the air where they are located every single day.  And they are exempt.  In areas like San Francisco, these emissions probably exceed those from all other sources.

I don’t know if these travesties are still in place but they were there were for years before we discovered them so I have no doubt that they have not been corrected.  The thing taxpayers have to realize is that these agencies cost you billions of dollars a year by forcing the private sector to implement their foolish solutions while creating environmental disasters that we will have to fix at some time in the future.  At the same time, these public agencies exempt other public or quasi-public agencies from the same regulations that they impose on us.  So the next time you see one of these agencies telling you what to do, what to by, or what to use, remember these examples.  There is no separation between the Greenies and the Public Sector regulators.  They are one and the same and you are their piggy bank!  If the Green Movement cared about the environment, most of their political action would be AGAINST THE PUBLIC SECTOR AGENCIES.

RD Pierini



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