In his “Fuel for thought” letter on Monday’s opinion page, Robert Smith demonstrated how President Donald Trump’s claim — that reducing fuel efficiency standards will require using only an additional “thimble full of fuel” — is deceptive at best. In fact, just a 1 mile per gallon reduction would spew an additional 50 million tons of carbon dioxide into our air each year. Smith asked, “Is it worth it?”
To respond, we must know what benefits would be gained by such a reduction. Trump’s claim is that allowing a reduction in efficiency will yield “a new era for American jobs and job creation.” How will making less efficient cars generate more jobs? If anything, with no incentive to develop vehicles with better fuel efficiency, manufacturers are likely to cut high-paying research and development jobs.
Alternatively, by requiring higher fuel efficiency standards, manufacturers would put more effort into researching and developing methods for boosting fuel efficiency. That would likely require the creation of new, higher-paying, STEM-related jobs, as well as possible spin-offs that could benefit other industries (and, incidentally, our environment). I want President Trump to present a factual, well-reasoned, evidence-based argument supporting his claim that lowering efficiency standards translates into more jobs. Would that number be greater than the number of jobs created by demanding higher fuel efficiency standards? Congress and we, the people, should demand that Trump either provide such an argument or stop trying to lower fuel efficiency standards.
Deborah C. Smith,