The Law of Unintended Consequences strikes again!

Drudge has a link to a story about some non-trivial number of gas stations in CA shutting down rather than spending tens of thousands of dollars on equipment upgrades.

Dozens, and potentially hundreds, of gas stations around California are choosing to shut down rather than comply with a state mandate that would require owners to purchase new equipment to reduce vapor emissions at the pump.

The requirement, known as Phase II in the state’s Enhanced Vapor Recovery Program, is set to go into effect in April. It requires gas station owners to individually purchase tens of thousands of dollars of equipment designed to prevent harmful vapors from escaping into the air when gasoline is pumped.

But reading the details to find out what gets saved…

April’s regulations promise to cut what are known as reactive organic gas emissions by 7 tons per day statewide, but opponents point to the fact that California produces 2,322 tons of such gases per day.

So it will reduce these emissions by 3/10ths of 1%. WOW! And of course if people need to drive a little further to buy gas because the station they used to use has shut down, then uh, I guess we won’t talk about that.

But of course if the purpose is to drive up prices so poor people can’t afford to drive, then that will be one way to accomplish a reduction. But I thought it was the evil Republicans who hated poor people?