Big oil to roll back auto emission rules

Marathon, the country’s largest oil refiner, has backed the Trump administration’s proposal to roll back car efficiency standards.

The New York Times revealed on Dec 13, 2018 that Marathon oil in conjuction with big oil is attempting to to roll back US auto efficiency standards put in place by President Obama.  This is a covert campaign that is being run via a conservative policy network financed by Charles Koch and that is attempting to gain popular support through a large Face Book campaign.   This appears to be a totally nefarious and underhanded plan that big oil planned to accomplish without anyone realizing they were financing it. Big Oil, while running plans like this, pretends to be an innocuous benefactor of society by building duck ponds and flower gardens while keeping CO2 streaming at full force into the global atmosphere.

The NYT article is by Hiroko Tabuchi.  Critical tidbits from the article are reproduced below.  A link can be found to the entire article at the bottom of the page.

“In Congress, on Facebook and in statehouses nationwide, Marathon Petroleum, the country’s largest refiner, worked with powerful oil-industry groups and a conservative policy network financed by the billionaire industrialist Charles G. Koch to run a stealth campaign to roll back car emissions standards, a New York Times investigation has found.”

“The campaign’s main argument for significantly easing fuel efficiency standards — that the United States is so awash in oil it no longer needs to worry about energy conservation — clashed with decades of federal energy and environmental policy.”

“The industry had reason to urge the rollback of higher fuel efficiency standards proposed by former President Barack Obama. A quarter of the world’s oil is used to power cars, and less-thirsty vehicles mean lower gasoline sales.”

“A separate industry campaign on Facebook, covertly run by an oil-industry lobby representing Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Phillips 66 and other oil giants, urged people to write to regulators to support the rollback.

The Facebook ads linked to a website with a picture of a grinning Mr. Obama. It asked, “Would YOU buy a used car from this man?” The site appears to have been so effective that a quarter of the 12,000 public comments received by the Department of Transportation can be traced to the petition, according to a Times analysis.”

“The standards that the Trump administration seeks to weaken required automakers to roughly double the fuel economy of new cars, SUVs and pickup trucks by 2025. Instead, the Trump plan would freeze the standards at 2020 levels. Carmakers, for their part, had sought more flexibility in meeting the original 2025 standards, not a categorical rollback.

“The Trump plan, if finalized, would increase greenhouse gas emissions in the United States by more than the amount many midsize countries put out in a year and reverse a major effort by the Obama administration to fight climate change.”

“California has pledged to stick to the stricter standards, together with 13 other states that follow its lead. But President Trump’s plan challenges California’s rule-writing power, setting up a legal battle that threatens to split the American auto market in two.”

“Even while doubling down on gasoline, Marathon has projected an environmentally friendly public image. “We have invested billions of dollars to make our operations more energy efficient,” Marathon said in a recent report. The company’s Twitter account recently highlighted a gardening project and the creation of a duck pond at one of its refineries.”

“On a conference call with investors last week, Mr. Heminger, the Marathon chief executive, was already counting the extra barrels of fuel a Trump rollback would mean for the industry: 350,000 to 400,000 barrels of gasoline per day, he said.

“However, you have another side who doesn’t want to pivot away” from the stricter rules, Mr. Heminger said. “So we have a lot of work to do to keep this momentum going.””

The image at the top of this page is of the Twin Sisters in Southern Colorado’s
Sangre de Christo  Range. 

 

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