Regulating truck emissions, Warner Bros. style

By Jami Jones, managing editor

Back in the late 1990s there was this cartoon that I personally found awful but my then-toddler children seemed to love. It was “Pinky and the Brain.”

And here lately I’m having flashbacks to that cartoon.

“Pinky and the Brain” was about a genius mouse and his stupid sidekick who try to conquer the world each night. Even if you never saw it, you can imagine that the plans never went, well, as planned and supposed hilarity ensued.

But the pair was never deterred, and the show always started with Pinky asking the Brain, “What are we going to do tonight?” To which Brain states, “The same thing we do every night, Pinky. Try to take over the world.”

You have to be wondering why I keep rehashing a cartoon in my head, when I admittedly hated it.

It’s because I’ve been reading all of the news coming out of the California Air Resources Board recently. It honestly has me blowing steam out of my ears.

As if all of the regulations they have unleashed on the trucking industry aren’t enough and the reality of failing truck engines and parts from retrofits weren’t up to the task of meeting the regs still wasn’t enough, CARB is refusing to take their part of the blame in this mess.

Instead the agency is going to seek expanded authority to go after parts and engine makers for warranties on parts that aren’t suited for the long haul of this regulation. They just can’t seem to wrap their heads around the fact that they are the reason truckers are experiencing these problems. Regulations can only move so fast. You have to give equipment makers time to adapt.

To add insult to injury, the brain trust of CARB members think they can do better and are pouring money into Super Truck research. There’s nothing that can possibly go wrong there.

This quest for world domination is quite tiresome. It’s as horrible as the short-lived cartoon of the 1990s.

Yet somehow, I just picture Mary Nichols opening each board meeting the same way as the “Pinky and the Brain” cartoons.

Nameless board member minion: “So Mary, what are we going to do today?”

Mary Nichols: “Same thing we do every meeting. Try to take over the world.” LL