Published in Transportation

Car industry abandons climate change deniers

by on04 July 2019


Will have to look to the oil industry

For decades, the car industry has been funding and assisting climate change deniers on the sound basis that if they convince the world that they are not killing polar bears when they drive their four-wheel drives to Waitrose, they will not have to change their business model.

But according to Jalopnik, all that has started to change. Last month, every major automaker - FCA being the exception -petitioned the Trump administration to not follow through on a drastic rollback of fuel economy standards. This put them at direct odds with climate change denialist groups, who want those rollbacks.

According to newly released emails obtained by the Sierra Club via public records request with the Environmental Protection Agency, and as reported by the New York Times, the rift between automakers and denialists has been happening for at least a year.

One email from a “free-market think tank” moaned that carmakers were not going to help and maybe part of the opposition.

Correspondence, released by the Environmental Protection Agency to the Sierra Club under a public records request, underscores the rising influence of climate denialist groups, which jumped from loony right-wing fringe groups to the mainstream in the Trump administration and now hold sway in US policymaking.

While American carmakers are not signing on to a Green New Deal, their issue with the fuel economy rollback is more about fighting unpredictable and drastic swings in federal regulations rather than car companies suddenly sprouting an environmental conscience.

However, it is possible that car makers see an opportunity in the move to greener high-tech cars to spur demand for new vehicles. The last thing they want is to spend a fortune on RandD and find all of that is wasted.

Last modified on 04 July 2019
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