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Letter: Regulations benefit the car industry

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Posted: Monday, June 19, 2017 4:00 pm

Editor: The automobile industry has foolishly asked the U.S. government for regulatory relief.

Not only has that step incurred the anger of state governments, but perhaps more significantly the industry would stall the engine which powers its research and development efforts.

History shows that regulatory objectives work. Auto makers have met the challenge.

On the day in the 1970’s when the “Big Three” car manufacturers were to appear before Congressional hearings to ask that emissions standards be relaxed, American Honda Motor Company announced it had developed a “CVCC” engine that not only met current emissions regulations, but also those yet to come.

But, according to a June 11 article by Engadget writer Mariella Moon, the past is not prologue in Detroit’s boardrooms. So, a national battle may erupt:

“California isn’t the only state that will openly defy the White House if it rolls back any of the vehicle emission standards set by the Obama administration. The attorneys general (of 13 states) have sent a letter to EPA chief Scott Pruitt, warning him that they will sue the agency if it abolishes those rules.

“Under (former President) Obama’s deal with automakers back in 2011, the companies have to work on doubling their current average fleet-wide fuel efficiency to 54.5 miles per gallon by the year 2025.

“Earlier this year, however, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, Toyota and VW asked President Trump to re-evaluate the efficiency guidelines.... Pruitt is firmly in Trump’s camp, calling the standards ‘costly for automakers and the American people.’ ”

Reversing regulations will actually eliminate many jobs in the auto industry and the plants of its many suppliers. Although some manufacturing costs will be marginally reduced, that result will not make American companies more competitive.

Cars which pollute more and are not as safe as before won’t rack up big sales figures.

The Trump regime, however, is so short-sighted, it will most likely go along with the request.

Trump’s donors have chairs in the boardrooms. They don’t worry about their chauffeurs getting into accidents, or breathing unfiltered air.

Lange Winckler

Lodi

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