by Katy Grimes, E&E Legal Senior Media Fellow
As Appearing in the Flash Point Report
In the early 1970’s, the Environmental Protection Agency forced automakers to cut emissions. And the cars were awful. I remember a 1972 Chevy Caprice station wagon, 140 horsepower, 4300 lbs. Chevy claimed the horsepower was 160 – even at that, it was still grossly underpowered.
Prior to the EPA, that particular engine was rated at 250 horsepower. The EPA took 40 percent of the engine capacity away. When you’re pushing a 4300 lb car with only 140 horsepower, the gas mileage is terrible. Cars didn’t run well. They were unreliable. The only thing that saved the car industry was fuel injection – something Porsche, Mercedes and BMW were already moving to.
Car manufacturers were lying then, and they’ve been forced to lie again.