State Too Strict On Environmental Regulations

A recent article in the L.A. Times, dated May 1, 2018, focused on EPA regulations. The article, “California joins 16 other states and sues to halt Persident Donald Trump’s plan to roll back vehicle emission standards,” missed the point.

It is clear that the Trump administration’s policies have been rather anti-environmental, such as when the EPA under Trump attempted to repeal a bill that tracked the pollution of rivers by the coal industry. However, I don’t think that this new rollback of emission standards falls under the same category of anti-environmentalism. Emission standards are a great thing. I mean, I can’t count the number of times I’ve had black smoke from the tailpipe of some ancient Ford blow into my face, forcing me to hold my breath lest I take a few minutes off my lifespan. With all our emission laws here in LA we still have problems with smog, but we have made tremendous progress.

I’ve had old timers tell me about how as children they couldn’t go out for recess without coughing up a long, so it is clear that the EPA standards have been a great boon to the health of our state.

The EPA plan states that all new cars must achieve 55 miles per gallon by 2025, but this doesn’t really seem realistic unless we’re talking about only driving Priuses and tiny Smart cars. I think it’s completely unfair for the state of California to be fighting with the EPA for trying to rollback this seriously ambitious mpg requirement instead of first dealing with its own infrastructural problems

Public transportation in California is terrible. Nobody wants to wait 45 minutes for a bus, and there is almost no public railway transportation to speak of unless you want to travel between a small handful of destinations. Compare that with New York, where many people don’t even bother driving because of their superior public transportation. They can afford to fight for stricter and stricter emission requirements all they want because they can survive without cars, but we Californian’s simply can’t.

The California state government wants to make it harder for the auto and oil industry to provide us with transportation while doing nothing at all to  remedy that lack of transportation. I know Gov. Jerry Brown or Attorney General Becerra won’t ever have to deal with our terrible public transportation, but their job is to worry about their citizens instead of only worrying about themselves and their lobbyist lapdogs. Will cars become more affordable with the EPA cracking down on every company for not making tiny hybrid cars? No, definitely not.

Is it fair to force the American consumer to choose between a Prius or a Tesla? Not really, unless we’re willing to sacrifice economy in the name of idealism. There’s a reason why car companies offer diverse lineups: their profit margins would be seriously scanty if they only offered one specific type of car. This whole idea of having ultra-efficient 60 mpg engines is a pipe dream, there’s only so much regulation we can place on the auto industry before car companies simply cannot afford to comply.

As we continue pushing for stricter and stricter efficiency standards, we must remember that we are shoving both American and International carmakers into the waters of infeasibility.