CityBusiness' Mark Singletary can't stand these newfangled emissions standards. He says Obama's proposed standards for new American autos seem like "the perfect way to do away with, once and for all, American car companies":
Our government is proposing new mandates that significantly increase fuel efficiency and emission standards for automobiles sold in this country. The intent is to have new cars get at least 35 miles per gallon by 2016 and seriously reduce the carbon footprint stamped out by automobiles.
This trip toward ultra-efficient cars and trucks is down a potentially dangerous and frightful path. Weve been down this road before, you see, and the results of that trip might well be the reason American automobile manufacturers are in such dire straits today.
The Chevette, the Pinto, the K car and the Vega are frightening examples of how brilliant Detroit-based engineers working hard for General Motors, Ford and Chrysler can lose their minds.
The same technical wizards who designed and built the GTO, the Mustang and the SuperBee were given marching orders to lighten up, downsize and de-power American cars. Various oil and gas crises in the 1970s caused a national panic. That panic begat aluminum-block engines, exploding transaxles and houndstooth interiors.
Consumers ran away from domestic cars and straight into the arms of Japanese and European car companies that satisfied their every automobile fantasy. The foreign manufacturers offered high style, top-notch quality and whatever kind of motor your pocketbook and insurance rates could handle.
I would've avoided putting "Pinto" and "brilliant" in the same sentence.
Singletary reminisces of the days of yore, when cars had muscle and slapped fuel efficiency in the face 'Merican made was and is all that matters. And now, as we face foreign competition from efficient, safe, affordable, family friendly and in some cases eco-friendly foreigners, Singletary says, "were about to enter another period of accelerated federal mandates that will produce cars that dont look good, dont go very fast and wont protect you when you crash." Thirty years post-Pinto? Doubtful. This is the bygone, irresponsible worldview that lead us into the environmental mess we're in today.