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

It would cost us more to produce high octane, unleaded fuel; it would cost the consumer more to buy it; and it would cost the country more in terms of its overall consumption of crude oil.

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Leo McReynolds, research director for Phillips. The Los Angeles Times.

the essential thing necessary to safely handle [tetraethyl lead] was careful discipline of our men…[tetraethyl lead] becomes dangerous due to carelessness of the men in handling it.

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Thomas Midgley Jr. vice president of General Motors. 1920s.

Absent a significant technological breakthrough. . . the largest car the industry will be selling in any volume at all will probably be smaller, lighter, and less powerful than today’s compact Chevy Nova…

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E.M. Estes, the president of General Motors. Oil Daily. 1975.

With the Environmental Protection Agency laws, we’d either have to shut down or break the law, and we aren’t going to break the law.

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Henry Ford II, 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.