Contesting U.S. Clean Car Standards is moot for sure if clean-vehicle platform is what’s in store

One source opines that makers of autos powered by internal combustion engines are has-beens and that electric vehicle manufacturers, in essence, will not just one day, but also, soon be the dominant players in the industry.

“Here’s a staggering stat that should tell you which way the wind is blowing: Tesla is valued at more than General Motors and Ford combined as of February 2019,” Blindsided: How to Spot the Next Breakthrough That Will Change Your Business Forever author Jim Harris writes.

If this sage’s presumption holds, this then is promising news indeed! But it’s actually more than that: What it will ultimately mean is that the effort by the Trump administration to wipe clean the Clean Car Standards from the books will be for absolutely naught. The Clean Car Standards were first established in California as a way to ensure that motor vehicles sold in state met certain air quality or emissions standards and done in response to the pollution coming from the transportation sector that had been so pervasive in California air before the time when the standards were first introduced and went into effect.

But, what if Harris is wrong? Whether he’s out of his depth or not is immaterial. Cutting the Clean Car Standards will be a mistake – period.

So, if those standards do disappear, what will be sacrificed in its wake?

What it apparently would mean is a move away in America from more fuel-efficient and electric (zero-emissions) motor vehicle operation. That’s just for starters.

Also consider the likelihood that the American citizen health is put at greater risk due to the number of miles driven by drivers rising with more corresponding pollutant emissions – along with a potentially greater concentration in said pollutant emissions – being emitted into the air.

Add to this the impacts on the economy and on jobs this could have. These could suffer as a result.

Though it is a given there will be those who disagree, but considering all of the above, that plus pending litigation to prevent the Clean Car Standards’ complete dismantling, the best possible outcome is one where the Trump administration withdraws its opposition.

Oh, and about that litigation, the Center for Biological Diversity (Center) in its Nov. 22, 2019 press release titled: “Lawsuit Challenges Trump’s Move to Block California’s Clean Car Standards,” stated in no uncertain terms, “The Center for Biological Diversity joined eight other groups today [Nov. 22, 2019] in suing the Trump administration for trying to prevent California and other states from setting more protective vehicle pollution standards.

“Today’s lawsuit … says that the Environmental Protection Agency had no authority to revoke the right of California and other states to set more stringent standards or require automobile manufacturers to include more zero-emission vehicles in their fleets.”

Maya Golden-Krasner, a Center attorney based in Los Angeles in the release declared: “‘Trump officials have no legal right to crush Californians’ efforts to protect our lungs from smog and the planet from the carbon pollution pouring out of our cars and SUVs.’

“The transportation sector is now America’s biggest source of planet-warming pollution, and nearly 60 percent of these emissions come from cars, trucks and SUVs. California’s recent vehicle pollution rules have reduced smog-forming pollution 75 percent compared to 2014 and greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent compared to 2016.

“The Trump administration’s action is the first time in history the EPA has attempted to revoke a waiver it previously granted under the Clean Air Act.”

What remains to be seen is if opposition intensifies or the Clean Car Standards’ policy holds fast. Time will surely tell all.

Hydrogen car and fuel-supplying infrastructure

Image above: Wikimedia Commons

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