Auto Emissions

Auto Emissions

As long as automobiles have existed, they have spewed dangerous toxins into the air. The content and volume of these emissions have changed over the years. When leaded gasoline was the norm, the blood lead levels of the American population were significantly higher than they are today. Before catalytic converters, smog was an even worse problem, especially in car-heavy cities like Los Angeles. Currently, America's cars contribute to a staggering one-fifth of our nation’s carbon emissions and almost half of global automotive carbon emissions. 

Cry Wolf Quotes

Ill-considered arbitrary fuel economy legislation could delay progress in conserving gasoline, extend unemployment, and restrict economic progress. It also could deny the choice of vehicles desired and needed by a large number of Americans.

-
Unidentified GM Spokesman, Chicago Tribune.

The people in this room have the same amount of lead in their blood as do the natives in New Guinea. If you take lead out of the air, you’ll still have it in your body.

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George Rausch, a professor from Tulane University, The Los Angeles Times.

The conflict between government standards and market demands is increased by the rollback of petroleum prices and extension of petroleum price controls at the same time. By making gasoline cheaper, congress has encouraged consumer demand for larger cars, while at the same time imposing fuel economy standards that require stronger demand for small cars.

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Lee Iacocca, then a Ford executive, and Henry Ford II, Chicago Tribune.

The restrictions make us waste oil every time we make gasoline [thus forcing costs up].

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Werner T. Meyer, president of the Lead Industries Association. The Los Angeles Times.

Evidence

Backgrounders & Briefs

The Success of CAFE Standards

How the CAFE standard and its successes.

The Secret History of Lead

This immense article is an intricately detailed history of leaded gasoline, from the industry's early cover-ups to their attempts to defeat EPA regulations.

The Removal of Lead From Gasoline: Historical and Personal Reflections

First-person historical analysis of the leaded gasoline fight.