California Air Resources Board Issues Zero-Emission Vehicle Mandate - Investors.com Green Politics: Golden State regulators have passed sweeping emission standards requiring one in seven new cars sold in the state in 2025 be an electric or other zero-emission vehicle. What can go wrong? Plenty, for if we've learned anything in recent years, it's that industrial policy and telling consumers what they need and must have vs. what they want and find useful doesn't work. Only the marketplace can accurately pick winners and losers. The government, having no competition, usually picks losers. We have also learned that climate change is an overhyped fantasy based on ideology rather than science. Yet the fraudulent science behind it is used to distort the economy and misallocate resources toward green energy and green products that cannot compete on their own merits. Their use must be coerced, leading to industrial and economic stagnation. Last Friday's decision by the California Air Resources Board combines the worst of both worlds. The policy adopted unanimously by CARB mandates a 75% reduction in smog-forming pollutants by 2025 and a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. To achieve this goal, the new state policy mandates that a mix of 1.4 million zero-emission and plug-in hybrid vehicles be on the road by 2025, nearly triple the number being driven today. Problem is, this increases the cost of these vehicles and limits consumer choices to those they don't want to make. "This is a historic new chapter in California history for the clean automobile," CARB Chairwoman Mary Nichols said after the vote. "Although there may be some bumps in the road for individual vehicles, the steady drumbeat that is driving us to get off petroleum continues." Yet, as far as we can determine, it's not consumers beating those drums. The Chevy Volt, Government Motors' touted electric vehicle, has reported meager sales to the point dealers are refusing or cutting back on deliveries. That the Volt is heavily subsidized both in its development and sales hasn't helped move the car that's prone to battery fires in crash tests. The only thing car owners are complaining about are high gas prices made worse by the government drumbeat to curtail domestic production. The ban on the Keystone XL pipeline is yet another example of how government conspires to restrict supply and boost prices. "It's hard to legislate or mandate what people want to drive or need to drive," said Lance Roberts, spokesman for the New Car Dealers Association of San Diego County.