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February 14. 2005

An old cliché says what is good for General Motors is good for the U.S.A.

They’re waving that flag again today, with a new twist. A recent California law requires car manufacturers to cut auto emissions 30% to help reduce global warming. That means smaller cars with smaller engines. The car industry’s lawyers are fighting the law by blaming you and me.

What’s their pitch? They say Americans demand gas-guzzlers, and they can’t refuse us our deepest desires. Sure. Car corporations are filing suits against California because they want to protect our wishes. You buy that? The auto industry and the oil industry have been jointly promoting gas guzzling a long time. So what’s the real issue here?

It’s whether we Americans are so in love with our gas guzzlers we don’t realize the war in Iraq is about securing the oil we desperately need to keep our tanks filled. Smaller cars would help remove our dependence on Mid Eastern oil, would buy us lower auto expenses, and would help us stop a war we’re told we’re fighting for Democracy, when it’s really about our own self-centered over-consumption habits.

This global warming battle between the car industry and California will demonstrate whether we American citizens seriously support the environment, or are really willing to trash it for our giant cars.


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