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Auchter's Art: THAT General Motors??

John Auchter
Michigan Radio

Please don't think that I am in any way condoning those who embrace conspiracy theories in order to explain to themselves how the world works. Especially in the past decade, this has become a chronic problem with increasingly dangerous results: human rights abuses, denied elections, insurrections. Enough said.

However, in certain instances, I can understand the impulse. For any Michigander of a certain age, a recent story in The Detroit Free Press must have been really tough to reconcile. An excerpt:

GM and the Environmental Defense Fund issued a joint statement Tuesday pushing for an accelerated timetable from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. GM and the nonprofit environmental advocacy group say they want the EPA to set standards requiring at least half of new vehicle sales to involve those without tailpipe emissions by 2030 and cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 60% for the 2030 model year compared with model year 2021 for light-duty vehicles.

What? GM working together with an environmental group to encourage tougher, more aggressive regulation of their industry? This is definitely not the GM I knew growing up in Flint! Quite the opposite. But then how do you explain it? Well, of course, conspiracy theories are an option. Perhaps a radical cabal of socialist industrialists plotting with deep state environmentalist wind farm unions in cahoots with immigrant drug and pizza cartels that ... well, you get the idea.

Upon closer inspection, however, the likely reason aligns perfectly with good ol' corporate profit goals and returns on investment: GM (like other carmakers) is hoping to ensure there will be a market for all the electric vehicles it is committing itself to build. Not as fun as the conspiracy theories, but much more plausible.

John Auchter is a freelance political cartoonist. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management, or its license holder, the University of Michigan.

Since 1995 John has created Michigan-based editorial cartoons for the Grand Rapids Business Journal, the Grand Rapids Press, and MLive Newspapers. His cartoons are currently featured at MichiganRadio.org and are syndicated to newspapers through the Michigan Press Association. John is an active member of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. You can view an archive of his editorial work and other cartoons at Auchtoon.com.
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