Will There Be Compromise or Chaos?
The Trump administration’s proposal to roll back federal clean car standards that were put in place in 2012 during the Obama administration has set off a political firestorm that involves many powerful political players – and prompted the nation’s most populous state to dig in and respond with a very emphatic “NO!”
The answer as to who will win this battle related to fuel economy and tailpipe emission standards has huge environmental and economic repercussions and is presently very much up in the air. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt wants to take the standards in one direction while the State of California seeks to impose an even stricter set of rules.
When the Trump camp pushed for an aggressive rollback in March, the president noted that the Obama-era rules “would have destroyed, or further destroyed, the auto industry.” He essentially took the side of the auto industry that wants the rules relaxed. On the other side of the issue stands a powerful coalition of environmental groups that have gone to federal court to force Trump’s EPA to hold true to the present rules. This group contends that automakers are presently “meeting the standards faster and more affordably than originally predicted.” According to insideclimatenews.org, 17 states (that represent 44 percent of the U.S. population) have also sued the EPA on this issue “asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to rule that Pruitt’s reversal was arbitrary and capricious and should be blocked.”
Where everything gets extremely complicated is in the fact that according to The New York Times, “California has vowed to disregard any rollbacks and stick to its own stricter emissions standards.” Such actions would trigger years of federal court rulings. And while automakers initially welcomed the Trump administration’s actions – and even prompted them – that group is now caught in a dilemma. As the Times article stated, “Automakers hope to head off a wider legal battle, which could plunge the American auto industry into regulatory chaos, with California and 12 other states that follow its lead imposing a stricter set of fuel economy rules than the rest of the country.”
How and when all of this will play out may gain a bit of direction quite soon. President Trump has recently directed his administration to work with California to potentially come to a meeting of the minds on this volatile issue where the final decision will have major environmental consequences well into the 21st century.
In viewing this controversy overall, the question must be asked: Are the new regulations and all of this political posturing going to pay off in the long run?
NPG stands 100% behind any and all measures that will result in cleaner air and protecting our fragile planet against global warming. While it is certainly beneficial to work to reduce emissions, one has to wonder how much progress can be made on this issue if we do nothing to halt population growth that is projected to add millions of additional people to our population in the coming years.
The reality is that cleaner air will not result simply from adjusting present regulations or creating lower emission standards. What is vitally needed is a national program that would put more focus on advancing responsible immigration and population policies that will lead to a smaller, truly sustainable population. Only then can we realistically expect to see drastic improvements in our air quality and less urban sprawl. By not taking such actions now in conjunction with limiting emissions, we are only chipping at the edges of the potentially huge environmental disasters that await future generations.
World population, now over 7.3 billion, is predicted to rise to 9 billion by 2050, an increase of almost two billion, or 23%, in the short space of only 34 years from now.In the highly unlikely event that per capita greenhouse gas emissions could possibly be decreased by an equal percentage in such a short space of time (a blink of an eye) the total amount of worldwide emission would remain the same!
From this simple illustration it would appear that without drastically reducing the size of world population, there is no solution to the problem.None at all.So then why do our world leaders pretend that there is one?What is to be gained by pretending rather than by proposing a solution that would solve the problem – a reduction in the size of world population to not more than 1- 2 billion?
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