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Car News In the Rearview: Trump Kicks Off the Eco-Wars

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Hello, and welcome back once more to In the Rearview, where I, your benevolent local car journalist-y dude, bring you a digest of the past week’s top car news in bite-sized form.

Two weeks ago, the nation was rocked as President Donald Trump egregiously and audaciously did exactly what he said he was going to do and asked EPA head Scott Pruitt to roll back the final determination on the agency’s emissions regulations¬†for 2022-2025. This past week, then, the green-armored knights of the nation are rising to the challenge of the smog-blasting dragon of Washington, clashing their weapons against their shields in an effort to intimidate the beast.

Foremost among these is the state of California, firmly holding off the beast’s belching fumes with the mighty shield of its Air Resources Board and proclaiming that it shall fight any attempt to lessen emissions regulations. Meanwhile the townsfolk have risen in earnest, digging furiously at the support of the beast’s arguments with their city pocketbooks, asking of automakers, “who’s willing to sell us $10 billion in electric vehicles?”

Meanwhile, the noble houses of the automakers look up in surprise from their tea at the rioting townspeople, as they are still working on fuel efficiency technology–there are simply too many economic pressures (in addition to the billions that they already spent on it) for them to stop now.

Seriously, though, this move, although not good for emissions regulation, is only asking Pruitt to reopen the commentary period on the regulations for 2022-2025. The regulations up until then are already set, and the globally-minded car companies of today can’t afford to do too much more than sell extra trucks and SUVs in those states which will have the lowered regulations.

Then, documents emerge that the previously all-gas automaker Mazda may soon be bringing a range-extended electric vehicle, where the range extender is the brand’s unique rotary engine–that is, if the automaker follows through on two of its approved patents.

Also, cool updates have been announced for the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid–too bad none of us here in the states can drive it yet. Here’s hoping it isn’t delayed again!

In more cheery news, we have a new game review, of the tabletop dice-rolling 8-bit race game Dice Drivin’. That hits just about every nostalgia point that it can, really.

Back into un-cheery news, though, Consumer Reports has released its list of the 10 worst cars of 2017–not a surprise were the four Fiat-Chrysler vehicles, but the Cadillac raised my eyebrow.

Finally, no surprise, we are awesome, because we are giving away two tickets to the New York International Auto Show. Get in on this giveaway before the tickets are gone!