Despite long-standing feuds with industry and significant challenges on the budgetary front, indications are that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) will continue for the foreseeable future. The organization had been included in a list of some 100 groups and agencies that could be eliminated or merged with other organizations as part of cost-cutting measures assembled by California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s staff. A report in Automotive News says that industry leaders, representing automakers and dealers, say that’s fine with them. They insist they were not behind an attempt to kill the California Air Resources Board. The industry’s willingness to coexist with CARB comes despite the board’s September adoption of landmark climate change rules. Critics say those standards would devastate the industry, especially if Canada and Northeastern states also enact them. A commission that Schwarzenegger named to study and refine that plan found no rationale and little public sentiment for dumping CARB. The panel quietly recommended that Schwarzenegger retain the board. Some environmental, labour and consumer activists suspect business and industry lobbyists in California helped develop the list of agencies initially targeted for elimination. Groundbreaking CARB rules three decades ago impelled automakers to eliminate as much as 99 percent of tailpipe pollution from cars and light trucks. The board says its plan to require automakers to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by 30 percent by 2016 would add more than $1,000 to the price of the average vehicle. But vehicle owners would get their money back from fuel savings, CARB says. An industry alliance argues that the cost of the mandate would be $3,000 or more per vehicle. The industry is expected to challenge the new rule as an illegal backdoor attempt to regulate fuel economy, which is a federal responsibility.