The news of tougher fuel standards is good news as it is an important step in making cars somewhat cleaner machines. As I am an advocate for moving away from the domination by the automobile, this does make a (slight) difference in the car’s impact. This is a holding action, one that helps to stop a small part of the pollution now (or at least in 2016) rather than continue at pollution levels that do more damage. But I do not see this news as a real victory. All this means is that the cars we drive will use a little less fuel. Cars in other developed nations will still have higher standards, their gas will still not be as heavily subsidized as ours and they will still spend more on mass transit than we will. This new requirement will do nothing for ending our dependency on the automobile. It will give no incentive to step out of the car, and may actually encourage more driving, as people will get more bang for their buck.

This requirement is an example of environmentalism through consumerism, where an existing lifestyle and product is altered to keep it intact as a viable option rather than working towards a new way of living. Don’t create a National Transportation Policy focused on mass transit and reduction of trips, work towards saving gas so that driving can remain the primary transportation option! That’s change I can believe in!