7 Ways of Looking at GM's New Super Bowl Ad

Since the modern era in American climate politics began in 1988, when the NASA climate scientist James Hansen informed a U.S. Senate committee that the long-hypothesized threat of global warming had begun to make itself felt, 33 years of effort—from environmentalists, scientists, activists, engineers, bureaucrats, politicians, the whole societal caboodle—have gone into this moment, of making electric cars seem normal.

The point of the ad is that America has lagged behind other rich countries in adopting an important piece of consumer technology, which is (1) correct and (2) partially GM’s fault.

When the Trump administration sought to strip California of its power to regulate vehicle pollution, GM joined in the lawsuit.

And the White House declined last year to extend the federal tax credit for EVs, a move that harmed Tesla and GM specifically while helping foreign automakers.

(And to be clear: EVs alone won’t eliminate carbon pollution from the transportation sector —we also need electric buses, better trains, and more public transit—but they’re much better than gas-powered cars.)

Now that the company has demonstrated such deep and sincere concern for America’s rate of EV adoption, regulators should bind it—and every other automaker—to even more ambitious schemes.

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