The New Politics — Emissions controls vs. the auto industry


Copy Editor

Right now the Environmental Protection Agency is considering reversing the Bush administration’s decision to prevent California and other states from requiring curbs on auto emissions to control global warming pollution from carbon dioxide.

Being from Michigan where we feel the effects of an economy devastated by the decline of the auto industry ever more sharply every day, I believe that had the Federal government required vehicle pollution controls much earlier on, as it should have, the mess we are in now might have been avoided. It is absolutely essential to curb global warming gasses and automobiles are a huge contributor. American car companies could, and perhaps will, lead the industry if they are supported and encouraged to develop clean technologies and cars that do not pollute. Americans would most likely leap at the chance to purchase American-made automobiles if the auto companies would produce autos that were non-polluting, attractive and attractively priced.

Of course, part of the drive toward a viable American auto industry must include some form of single-payer health insurance so that we can compete pricewise on the world market. As a nation, it is clear that we need to reclaim our manufacturing capacity as an essential part of our economy—it would be counter productive to allow the automotive corporations to fail. The auto industry must and should be allowed to re-emerge as a viable leader of industry once more in the United States. I believe that forcing Detroit to develop fuel-efficient cars will, in the long run, be an essential component of its recovery.