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

There is no evidence that lead in the atmosphere, from autos or any other source, poses a health hazard.

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John L. Kimberley, executive director of the Lead Industries Association, Testimony, New York City Council’s Committee on Environmental Protection. The New York Times.

I would hope we would never get into a position that we’d have to tell our customers they can’t buy certain cars because of the mileage requirements.

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Richard Terrell, Vice Chairman of GM, Chicago Tribune.

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.

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.

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Unidentified GM Spokesman, Chicago Tribune.

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.