Washington state House OKs bill adopting California auto-emissions rule

The Washington state House this week passed a bill calling for adoption of California’s strict auto-emissions rules. If the Senate follows suit and the governor signs off, Washington would follow in the footsteps of six other states that have opted to follow California rules instead of the looser national ones. The debate over the bill was long and, er, colorful. The pro-standards crowd, largely representing urban areas, had the typical arguments: State residents would save on gas and health-care costs and, oh yeah, be stricken less often with cancer, pneumonia, and asthma. The anti-standards crowd, largely from rural eastern Washington — well, we’ll let them speak for themselves. “What makes California so great? What makes their standards so great?” asked Rep. Bob Sump (R). “I don’t want to tie myself to a bunch of losers.” Added Rep. Richard DeBolt (R), “That place is a train wreck … They brought us the pet rock, mood rings, leisure suits. Do we really want that?” And finally, lest anyone miss the obvious parallels between fuel-efficiency standards and, uh, slavery, Rep. Lynn Schindler (R) cried out, “Let my people go.”