Friday, June 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.

Comments
Editorial: State help needed to staff hotlines with veterans helping veterans

Editorial: State help needed to staff hotlines with veterans helping veterans

Veterans can help veterans deal with trauma resulting from military service in a way no one else can. That’s the theory behind a special hotline set up in the Tampa Bay area that proponents are hoping to take statewide.The expansion would cost some $...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Editorial: With Supreme Court ruling, Florida should collect sales tax from online retailers

Editorial: With Supreme Court ruling, Florida should collect sales tax from online retailers

It turns out the U.S. Supreme Court has a better grasp of the economic realities of the 21st century than Congress or the Florida Legislature. The court ruled Thursday that states can require online retailers to collect sales taxes even if the retail...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Editorial: Congress should ban splitting kids, parents

Editorial: Congress should ban splitting kids, parents

The shocking scenes of immigrant children crying after being taken from their parents at the border exposed a new level of cruelty by the Trump administration, and though the president reversed course Wednesday, Congress needs to end the shameful pra...
Published: 06/21/18
Sessions kickstarts action on marijuana

Sessions kickstarts action on marijuana

Good job, Jeff Sessions! It seems the attorney general’s misguided attempts to revive the unpopular and unjust federal war on marijuana may be having the exact opposite effect — prompting a new bipartisan effort in Congress to allow states to legaliz...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/21/18
Editorial: A court victory for protecting Florida’s environment

Editorial: A court victory for protecting Florida’s environment

A Tallahassee judge has affirmed the overwhelming intent of Florida voters by ruling that state lawmakers have failed to comply with a constitutional amendment that is supposed to provide a specific pot of money to buy and preserve endangered lands. ...
Published: 06/18/18
Updated: 06/20/18
Editorial: Trump should stop taking children away from parents at the border

Editorial: Trump should stop taking children away from parents at the border

Innocent children should not be used as political pawns. That is exactly what the Trump administration is doing by cruelly prying young children away from their parents as these desperate families cross the Mexican border in search of a safer, better...
Published: 06/17/18
Updated: 06/19/18

Editorial: ATF should get tougher on gun dealers who violate the law

Gun dealers who break the law by turning a blind eye to federal licensing rules are as dangerous to society as people who have no right to a possess a firearm in the first place. Yet a recent report shows that the federal agency responsible for polic...
Published: 06/17/18
Updated: 06/18/18
Editorial: Encouraging private citizens to step up on transit

Editorial: Encouraging private citizens to step up on transit

The new grass-roots effort to put a transportation package before Hillsborough County voters in November faces a tough slog. Voters rejected a similar effort in 2010, and another in 2016 by elected officials never made it from the gate. But the lates...
Published: 06/15/18
Editorial: 40 years later, honoring remarkable legacy of Nelson Poynter

Editorial: 40 years later, honoring remarkable legacy of Nelson Poynter

Forty years ago today, Nelson Poynter died. He was the last individual to own this newspaper, and to keep the Times connected to this community, he did something remarkable. He gave it away.In his last years, Mr. Poynter recognized that sooner or lat...
Published: 06/15/18

There was no FBI anti-Trump conspiracy

The Justice Department released Thursday the highly anticipated report on the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe and other sensitive issues in the 2016 election. It is not the report President Donald Trump wanted. But there is enough i...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18