Readers React: Shame on the EPA for kowtowing to automakers — and shame on us for buying their cars


To the editor: A few years ago the large car companies made an agreement with the Obama administration to increase gas mileage in an effort to reduce the many harms that will be caused by climate change. The increase in average mileage to 55 miles per gallon by 2025 promises benefits for all humanity.

Now we learn that the automakers have asked the Trump administration to reduce this requirement, which will result in a more quickly warming planet with greater damage to our air quality. (“Don’t let Trump and Pruitt Make America Smoggy Again,” editorial, April 3)

Where is their humanity? Where is their concern for everyone’s lives today and into the future? Only the few stockholders will benefit from the harm inflicted on all others.


Shame on them, and shame on us for buying their products and granting them authority over our quality of life.

Ben Tenn, Northridge


To the editor: In the face of federal obstruction of California’s policies to increase auto fuel efficiency, there is a way to achieve steady reductions in automotive carbon emissions while also improving road safety: the use of “pay how you drive” (PHYD) auto insurance.

Under this system, insurance rates would be lowered for motorists who use an onboard data recorder that verifies how safely they drive. Moderation is a virtue, especially behind the wheel.

California can be a positive trendsetter again in reducing emissions from cars by mandating or heavily incentivizing insurers to offer PHYD policies to their customers and mandating it for younger drivers, ride-hailing drivers, drivers with bad records and drivers insured under the state’s lower-cost public option.

PHYD insurance would encourage motorists to drive more slowly, moderate acceleration and reduce hard braking. This would also reduce pollutant emissions, deaths and injuries for people in and outside vehicles and car insurance payments for environmentally and socially responsible drivers.


Gregory Wright, Sherman Oaks


To the editor: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has a sweetheart deal to stay at a Washington condominium for $50 a night — only on the nights he stays there — in an expensive area. The condo is owned by the wife of a lobbyist for energy companies, one of which just had a pipeline deal approved by the EPA.

The EPA says there’s no conflict of interest. Of course it says that, since Pruitt’s the boss.

Trump isn’t draining the swamp; he’s filling it with his fellow crocodiles.

Scott McKenzie, La Cañada Flintridge

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