Automakers on right side of climate control

By

Opinion

July 30, 2019 - 9:55 AM

Since the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1970 under Republican President Richard Nixon, there has been strong bipartisan support for efforts to limit pollution, especially from vehicles. Under GOP and Democratic presidents alike, automakers have faced steadily escalating requirements that they improve gas mileage and lessen dangerous emissions.

Automakers have for the most past accepted this as a necessary cost of business — especially as the risks of climate change have become better understood, and dreaded.

But last summer, the Trump administration sharply broke with this history, seeking to rescind rules adopted under the Obama administration that would have required cars and trucks sold in the U.S. to average more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025. This action wasn’t seen as precipitous just by environmental groups. It faced sharp criticism from automakers because of the likelihood they would have to build vehicles to meet both the proposed federal standards and the tougher rules adopted by California and 13 other states.

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