Emission Creep

By Bill Maher

Sometimes it feels like every single thing the Trump administration does is aimed at helping Russia sell more oil. Like lifting trade sanctions. Or “getting tough” on Iran and Mexico (both Russian oil competitors). And now increasing demand by loosening mileage standards on America’s gas-guzzlers. Here’s Jody Freeman, former Obama counselor for energy and climate change, in her recent New York Times op-ed:

“One of the signal achievements of the Obama administration was reaching an agreement with the auto industry to dramatically increase fuel efficiency standards for vehicles, doubling them to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. The industry now wants to renege. At its behest, the Trump administration is expected to initiate a rollback.”

There’s nothing technologically preventing us from making cars that use a lot less gas. We just don’t feel like it. But here’s what’s really repulsive about “regulatory relief” for the auto industry:

“(I)t evinces a stunning lack of gratitude. While the banks and mortgage lenders the feds bailed out following the financial crisis have all paid back their bailout money with interest, U.S. taxpayers ate $9.4 billion of the bailout costs of GM and Chrysler. Ford, for its part, took a $5.9 billion easy-money loan from the Department of Energy to fund work on batteries and low-emissions technology—and is still paying it back. Now they’re all pushing back against regulations that would make the air we all breathe cleaner, reduce the demand for gasoline, and make it cheaper to operate vehicles—even though taxpayer funds are responsible for the handsome profits they’re all presently enjoying.” (Daniel Gross/Slate)

The real art of the deal is never leave a good deed unpunished. And who needs emissions standards anyway? Carbon doesn’t cause global warming – just ask the new head of the EPA. The Earth feels hot because it’s in love.