Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Editorials

Higher mileage standards will pay off for consumers, environment

The Obama administration scored a victory for public health this week with the announcement of new fuel economy standards. The rules would double gas mileage for cars and light trucks by 2025, saving motorists thousands at the pump, and curb by up to half the release of global-warming greenhouse gases. This is another contrast in the election campaign between President Barack Obama's rounded energy policy and the drill-and-deregulate stance of Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

The standards require automakers to reach an average fuel efficiency of 54.5 miles per gallon by the 2025 model year. The goals build on the Obama administration's current target of 35.5 mpg by 2016, and they put the United States in line with Japan, Europe and the industrialized world in getting more energy from every dollar while curbing air pollution.

These are doable targets that the industry has agreed to — and, indeed, is already working to meet. Thirteen major players in the industry, including Ford, Chrysler and General Motors, who together build nine of out every 10 cars sold in the United States, embraced the standards after working closely with the federal government, the auto unions, consumer groups and others in the last year. Manufacturers will have the latitude to achieve the targets in a variety of ways, from making the transmissions and engines more fuel-efficient to improving aerodynamic designs and reducing a vehicle's weight. The measure also includes some weasel language in an effort to tamp down the sticker price of these more efficient vehicles.

The Romney camp trashed the new goals as "extreme." But that's not saying much for a campaign whose just-released energy strategy calls for little more than expanding oil and gas drilling on all available lands and further hamstringing the federal government's ability to ensure that these practices are safe.

The administration estimates that the savings at the pump will more than make up for the new cars' heftier sticker prices. The rules would reduce American oil imports and lead to cleaner air and water, helping millions who suffer from chronic diseases. The long lead time gives the industry regulatory certainty, and the rules will create high-paying jobs in the manufacturing sector while expanding consumer choice by bringing more auto models on the market. The only loser here is a Republican ticket that is more comfortable championing the gas-guzzling status quo. Obama nudged the industry in the right direction again, and American consumers are better for it.

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Editorial: Candor key step to restoring trust at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute

Editorial: Candor key step to restoring trust at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital has begun the important work of rebuilding trust with its patients and the community following revelations of medical errors and other problems at its Heart Institute. CEO Dr. Jonathan Ellen candidly acknowledges...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Editorial: Tampa Bay House members fail to stand up to Big Sugar

Editorial: Tampa Bay House members fail to stand up to Big Sugar

Big Sugar remains king in Florida. Just three of the state’s 27 House members voted for an amendment to the farm bill late Thursday that would have started unwinding the needless government supports for sugar that gouge taxpayers. Predictably, the am...
Published: 05/18/18
Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s lawsuit against the nation’s largest drug makers and distributors marks a moment of awakening in the state’s battle to recover from the opioid crisis. In blunt, forceful language, Bondi accuses these companies of ...
Published: 05/18/18
Editorial: A sweet note for the Florida Orchestra’s violin program for at-risk kids

Editorial: A sweet note for the Florida Orchestra’s violin program for at-risk kids

This is music to the ears. Members of the Florida Orchestra will introduce at-risk students to the violin this summer at some Hillsborough recreation centers. For free.An $80,000 grant to the University Area Community Development Corp. will pay for s...
Published: 05/17/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Trump backs off China tariff threat as China pumps money into a Trump family project

Trump backs off China tariff threat as China pumps money into a Trump family project

In barely six weeks, President Donald Trump has gone from threatening to impose $150 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods to extending a lifeline to ZTE, a Chinese cell phone company that violated U.S. sanctions by doing business with Iran and North K...
Published: 05/17/18
Editorial: Activism as seniors helps put Hillsborough graduates on the right path

Editorial: Activism as seniors helps put Hillsborough graduates on the right path

Lots of teenagers are walking together this week in Hillsborough County, a practice they’ve grown accustomed to during this remarkable school year.We can only hope they keep walking for the rest of their lives.Tens of thousands of them this week are ...
Published: 05/17/18
Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s lawsuit against the nation’s largest drug makers and distributors marks a moment of awakening in the state’s battle to recover from the opioid crisis. In blunt, forceful language, Bondi accuses these companies of ...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Editorial: Johns Hopkins All Children’s should be more open about mistakes

Editorial: Johns Hopkins All Children’s should be more open about mistakes

A state investigation raises even more concern about medical errors at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and the venerable St. Petersburg institution’s lack of candor to the community. Regulators have determined the hospital broke Florida law by ...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/17/18
Editorial: St. Petersburg recycling worth the effort despite cost issues

Editorial: St. Petersburg recycling worth the effort despite cost issues

St. Petersburg’s 3-year-old recycling program has reached an undesirable tipping point, with operating costs exceeding the income from selling the recyclable materials. The shift is driven by falling commodity prices and new policies in China that cu...
Published: 05/15/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Editorial: HUD’s flawed plan to raise rents on poor people

Editorial: HUD’s flawed plan to raise rents on poor people

Housing Secretary Ben Carson has a surefire way to reduce the waiting lists for public housing: Charge more to people who already live there. Hitting a family living in poverty with rent increases of $100 or more a month would force more people onto ...
Published: 05/15/18
Updated: 05/18/18